MUSIC ISN’T the only thing at the top of a certain Marley’s list these days.
Ziggy Marley recently made a contribution to the Jamaica Environment Trust’s (JET) Schools’ Environment Programme (SEP), to aid in the development of environmental education in the island’s schools.
“Education on the environment is one of the most important things we can provide our youth. I’m honoured to be able to support such an important cause and establishment,” a release issued by JET quotes Ziggy Marley as saying.
The donation was not only timely, but necessary, because according to project coordinator, Maureen Milbourn, the lack of funding has caused JET to decrease their presence in a number of schools across the island. They previously worked with over 353 schools, but the number fell to a mere 120.
Milbourn says over the years the Robert Marley Foundation has been a corporate sponsor of JET. However, this was the first time that Ziggy Marley had made a direct contribution to SEP through his charitable foundation URGE.
“JET supports SEP, so the money comes in to us anyway … He gave a cheque in US dollars to go toward the coordination and running of the programme,” said Milbourn.
TEACHER, STUDENTS TRAINED
SEP helps not only to educate students about the importance of taking care of the environment, but also hosts teacher-training workshops. Over the past nine years they have trained over 600 teachers and 350,000 students, at early childhood education schools, as well as teachers’ colleges. These includes six of the Marley assisted schools: Stepney Basic and Primary and Junior High schools, Rhoden Hall Basic School, the Nine Mile Basic School (formerly known as the Cedella Marley-Booker Basic), Trinitarian Basic School and the Haile Selassie Comprehensive High School.
Milbourn says among SEP’s initiatives for this year is conducting an islandwide competition. Prizes will be awarded to the regional and national winners, as well as to schools which perform well in any of the four main categories, which are managing garbage, greening of school grounds, establishing an environment club and environmental research.
–Kavelle Anglin-Christie, Staff Reporter, JAMAICA GLEANER