PANAMA: Former student president of Don Bosco Technical Institute EcoClub reflects on its importance and mission
(MissionNewswire) Santiago Corrales Rodríguez is a former student president of the EcoClub at Don Bosco Technical Institute in Panama City, Panama. The EcoClub, which was started in 2018 by Father Ángel Prado, director of Don Bosco Technical Institute at the time, engages in initiatives to help the environment. Rodríguez was among the club’s first members.
The EcoClub has installed recycling points throughout the institution and organized an ecological fashion show. The club has also held a week for internal recycling, which collected more than 3,500 kg of material. EcoClub members enjoy ecological walks and have educated the community, encouraging them to use the institution’s recycling collection center.
Rodríguez said, “The theme of the environment attracted me from an early age. During my adolescence, I had the opportunity to participate more consciously in these processes. I reconsidered my position about the environment, and I began to develop an ecological way of thinking, which led me to engage in my own little world.”
“Being part of this group (EcoClub) meant that I could support my mother and share things with her that she was also interested in, and also generate real change in society,” added Rodríguez. “I did not imagine what we would achieve as a group, as a school and as a neighborhood. Nor did I imagine what I would learn and how my environmental awareness and my training would be consolidated.”
The Don Bosco Technical Institute is part of the Don Bosco Green Alliance whose members work to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders. The Alliance’s priorities are combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastics. In each of these areas, it aims to partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment) or other international organizations.
“Through the Don Bosco Green Alliance, I was selected as a speaker during last year’s United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, together with three young women from Germany, Papua New Guinea and Ghana,” explained Rodríguez. “We presented our efforts for the environment from our different perspectives and situations, and it was an opportunity to understand that there is more future than we believe and that we can do more than we think.”
He added, “Through schools such as the Don Bosco Technical Institute and its EcoClub, and foundations such as Eco Creando, young people can learn to take care of the environment and improve their behavior. Organizations such as Don Bosco Green Alliance give young people a voice to be heard and to get their message across.”
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