Two schools part of ROG program

Students of Nadi Sangam Primary School during the launch of the Recycling on the Go (ROG) ambassadors program last week. Picture: PACIFIC RECYCLING FOUNDATION

Designed to impact the mindset and behaviour of students towards recycling, the Recycling on the Go (ROG) ambassadors program is making waves in schools.

The program has now been adopted by two schools in the West — Jasper Williams High School and Nadi Sangam Primary School.

The program is tailor-made to instill best practises of recycling in a school environment.

The program was successfully piloted at Jai Narayan College in 2022 has been up-scaled by the Pacific Recycling Foundation (PRF) through Swire Shipping’s continued commitment to the program and the endorsement from the Ministry of Education.

About 700 students and teachers of Jasper Williams High School in Lautoka were part of the program last week, launched by the Education Minister, Aseri Radrodro.

Pacific Recycling Foundation founder and Waste Recyclers Fiji Ltd chief executive officer Amitesh Deo said it was an exciting day where they would be able to nurture student advocates to take a lead role in becoming change agents for recycling.

He said considering the fact that Jasper Williams High School was an all-girls and boarding school, the foundation expects to get rich data in terms of behaviour and mindset towards waste management.

The data will be instrumental in the upscaling of the program.

“We are aware that Jasper Williams High School has a huge network of old scholars and we expect the students to take back the message of best practices of recycling to their homes, communities and to former students,” he said.

Education Minister Aseri Radrodro and Pacifi c Recycling Foundation founder Amitesh Deo with Jasper Williams High School students during the ROG ambassadors launch in Lautoka Picture: PACIFIC RECYCLING FOUNDATION

Swire Shipping regional manager Alex Pattison said they saw a need to properly educate the younger generation and to provide a platform for them to practice recycling under the guidance of experts like the Pacific Recycling Foundation.

“We hope this project continues to challenge the mindsets and preconceived ideas and influence behaviour change, especially in our younger generation,” Mr Pattison said.

“These ambassadors will lead our nation and be the change agents.”

The launch at Nadi Sangam Primary School saw more than 1000 students learn about the ROG ambassadors program. It was the third school to be part of the program since its inception in 2022.

In just over a year, the program has reached over 2600 students, their families and communities — a significant milestone.

Mr Deo for the Nadi Sangam launch said the implementation of the program was special as it allowed students to demonstrate environmental responsibility and good decision-making at a very tender age. Mr Pattison said they are proud to be advocating recycling in schools.

“Sustainable education should be part of the school curriculum and adequate resources and support should be provided to all schools. This is our plea to the government and all our stakeholders,” Mr Pattison said.

The PRF will provide comprehensive training to the students of Nadi Sangam Primary School, which not only looks at the best practices of recycling, but gives a holistic overview and approach to waste management.

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