In celebration of the International Day of Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the Department of the Environment (DOE) hosted a poem competition that was extended to secondary school students across the country. We were invited to the office of the DOE where the first, second and third place winners were acknowledged. Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer of the Department of the Environment, told us more.
“Today, we are giving out the prizes to winners in poem competition. We did this celebration of the Global Ozone Layer Protection Day or what we refer to as an Ozone Day, the 16th of September every year. So, every year we do some type of celebration. Usually is more in the science base, but this time we recommended that we go more into the arts because that’s something that we need to spur up more in Belize, so, we went for it from a poem competition. We had good entries…fourteen, I think, and out of those we had to come up with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes which we are celebrating here today”.
Reporter: “Now, you read the poems. Tell me: What was your reaction towards those poems coming from secondary school students?”
Mr. Martin Alegria: “Yeah, it was very impressive in the sense that they are very much aware of what, not only the ozone layer protection is, but a lot of what they understand of the climate change issues which is very important for us because it’s through the youths, these things will be affecting and needs to be fixed. So, it’s encouraging that are…through poems, for example, are expressing and are very much aware of what was on ozone layer protection program was all about”.
Third place was won by Tristian Coleman, of Muffles College High school, second place was won by, Jasi Eck, of Saint Catherine Academy, and first place was won by Vickey Chan, of Muffles College High School. Vickey Chan recited her winning poem
“No mouth have I to scream; no feet to run, no hands to stop those cloroflourocarbons that you incessantly spray all about.
In my agony, I wonder, are you homosapiens? You seem like chimneys to me; Molecules of smoke by the millions are all you produce by land and by sea;
If it’s not your fat cigar, it’s your blazing new car or your oversized factory, or your gigantic ship.
But only on every 16th September do they let me speak.
So, expedite my salvation; listen to me for until next year they will let me repeat”.