Shea O’Connor Combined School in Nottingham Road marked World Environment Day recently with a major clean-up programme to help raise awareness about the impact of plastic.
“We aimed to get buy-in from the community in taking care of our environment through campaigns like cleaning up,” said the school’s vice-principal and champion of its Enviro Club, Antonia Mkhabela.
“This clean-up campaign was a planned activity in our year programme by the foundation phase teachers, as it is in accordance with the CAPS curriculum.”
On a mission
The school has since last year been on a mission to remove plastic pollution from the environment.
“We wanted to expand this ideology to the community through action and by showing a good example,” said Antonia.
The clean-up campaign involved pupils, teachers, parents, local farmers and local resident. A Whatsapp message requesting support and donation of refuse bags and gloves from local farmers was sent out.
“Letters of request were sent to parents as well,” said Antonia. She said both the parents and farmers had answered the call for support.
The campaign started at 12 noon from outside the school heading along R103 south bound towards the Nottingham Road village, into the railway settlement, along the railway line next to the settlement up to the old railway station.
“Community members were excited and appreciated the cleaning done by pupils as well as the message pupils passed on about the importance of keeping the environment clean,” said Antonia.
This was followed up by an address to the community regarding the clean-up undertaken by pupils, how they felt about it and how such efforts could be sustained.
Within two hours 38 refuse bags full of plastics, alcohol bottles and tins were collected before being stored to be sent on to a recycling centre.