Every now and again we get the warm fuzzies, when we hear from students who have participated in our Untouched World Charitable Trust Programmes. Late last year we piloted another Waterwise Programme, this time based in Lake Ellesmere. Here’s what some of the students had to say about their experience….
'When I first wrote my letter to the Untouched World Charitable Trust for application to this Waterwise Programme, I had little idea as to what sort of experience I could be gaining if I were to be chosen for the scholarship. I thought that perhaps this would be like just like any other camp that I'd been on, except maybe a little longer. But, after arriving in Christchurch, meeting all the other students in our first group gathering and travelling to Ngati Moki Marae for the powhiri, I realised that this camp would be a fair bit different to the others. I'm not sure if it was all the different places that we went to or the truly dedicated people that we talked to, but the personalized effect of this programme really changed me as a person and my perspective on sustainability. The load of information that we heard from the many different guest speakers were so crucial and their opinions so sincere, that I felt an inclination to really do something with the information that I'd been learning after I had gotten back to school. This camp definitely changed a lot of the views that I already had and made me see that some of the priorities that I had weren't relevant at all when compared to the colossal problem that we could be facing if we don't implement water sustainability in our lives. Jocelyn, our co-ordinator was also fantastic in leading the group, as well as all the supervisors. I really enjoyed meeting everyone at this camp and still stay in touch with many of them to see what we can get up to in our own schools to make a difference.'
Rijuta Chakrabordy, Papatoetoe High School
'The weeklong experience of the Waterwise programme enabled me to learn about water management and the issues threatening our water quality, in particular in the Canterbury region and Lake Te Waihora. It was an incredible experience and something in my opinion, should be taught in schools as the issues are going to affect our generation's future, so we should be informed about what we are facing and what we can do to help counteract the issues. Having touched base on a few of the issues through out of school events, it was very valuable to have a lot of different perspectives on the irrigation systems so we could make our own opinions and create our own perspectives.
Already having an environmentalist's approach to issues, the Waterwise programme helped me build on it and increase my knowledge on freshwater issues. One thing that really struck me on the programme was how many different species of tiny macro-invertebrates are in streams! Streams are living! A big thanks to the Untouched World Charitable Trust for funding it and thanks to all the organisers and guest speakers. It was truly an inspirational experience.'
Anna Clark, Hurunui College
Currently our programmes are only run in New Zealand. For more information on upcoming opportunities, go to our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/untouchedworld