The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the Wildlife and Environment Society (WESSA) will be launching the first phase of the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme in Cape Town with an aim to develop local youth to become reporters for the environment.
This programme aims to also empower young South Africans to pursue a collective vision of human rights, inclusivity, environmental and social justice by harnessing social media and its global network to tell their own solution-driven, knowledge-rich and contextual stories.
Experts in the field to determine bold, smart and sensitive solutions to local environmental issues and sharing these stories mentor Young Reporters.
“This focus on making a positive difference uniquely positions high school learners to hone research and leadership skills and explore career options. YRE encourages self-directed learning essential for success after high school. This will be done by capacitating participants with contemporary environmental and media conceptual and practical knowledge, and fostering advocacy and hope with project-based experiential learning and expert mentorship”, said Ward 15 Councillor Ian McMahon.
The first phase of the programme focuses on high schools in the City Centre. These include:
- Cape Town High School
- Gardens Commercial High School
- Good Hope Seminary High School
- Harold Cressy High School
- Sea Point High School
- Trafalgar High School
- Vista High School
The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) is a 95-year-old youthful and vibrant organisation that is proud of its rich history in South Africa conservation and environmental education.
WESSA is the national operator for the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE)’s international Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Programme.
“One of our key objectives is to partner with organisations like WESSA to encourage optimising the use of natural assets. There is overwhelming evidence of the positive impacts of nature on the wellbeing of the body, mind and soul. Thus, I call on the young people to take full advantage of this opportunity as it will help them connect with mother nature,” says Alderman Eddie Andrews.
“They can take pictures of their gardens at home, on their way to school, or anytime they find themselves outdoors. We [are] asking the youth to be intentional about their reporting. They may choose to focus on something that interests them, spend time in nature looking for clues that speak to their intention and ultimately report on their find.
“We are hoping that this initiative will spark an interest in nature and the environment and, possibly, a career in this field,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment.
“This programme will run for a year and once the first phase is completed, the City of Cape Town will celebrate it with a showcase event of select environmental media projects by these Young Reporters for the Environment,” he adds.
Picture/s: City of Cape Town