Kekhashan, President of the Plant-for-the-Planet Children´s Global Board and Coordinator traveled to Seychelles and wrote a wonderful report on her experiences in the Botanical Gardens in the midst of the botanical species of the islands, where she delivered a speech and received a prize for her great exposure.
"Seychelles is an archipelago of islands nestled in the Indian Ocean, at the eastern coast of Africa.
It was my pleasure being invited to visit Seychelles on two accounts:
1. As a winner of the 2013 International Schools Essay Competition and Debate, organized by The Living Rainforest of the UK and to attend the prize ceremony which was held in the Seychelles’ capital, Mahe.
The topic of the contest was “Who is responsible… are we ready to take responsibility for the future of our planet?” The Living Rainforest received 831 entries from 65 countries. This is second year in succession that I was a winner, having won it in 2012 as well, and I had been to London to receive my prize.
2. I was also invited by the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Environment, as I am the Global Coordinator for Children and Youth UNEP Major Groups Facilitating Committee, i
n order to interact with the students of their Eco Schools and share my journey as a young eco-warrior.
The prize ceremony of The Living Rainforest was held at the vast Botanical Gardens which in itself is a heritage site. It contained trees of stupendous variety and the foliage was lush and green. In this idyllic setting, I received my trophy and thereafter gave a speech to the assembled winners, guests and Tourism Ambassador about my work and how children can make a difference in creating a sustainable world. I spoke to them about the incredible work being done by Plant-for-the-Planet and explained the slogan of “Stop Talking, Start Planting”. I took our banner with the logo which was greatly appreciated by the entire audience.
The picture above shows me delivering my speech in the Botanical gardens, with the “Stop Talking, Start Planting” banner in the background.
In keeping with my philosophy of planting trees in every country I visit, I planted a sapling in the beautiful Botanical garden as well. One day I hope to return and see the sapling I planted grow into a towering tree.
Over the next few days, I visited many Eco schools and spoke to their students on sustainable living. I was greatly impressed by the green initiatives that these students undertook in their schools. They recycled almost everything and it was really good to see how concerned they were about protecting the biodiversity of their home.
Thereafter I was invited for a meeting at their Ministry of Environment where I interacted with the officials who were very appreciative of the work I was doing. They commended me on my work as a Youth Ambassador.
I was also interviewed in the local media and Television. The Seychelles’ official tourism website now carries my name and refers to my visit to this tropical paradise, which we as eco-warriors, must help to preserve at all costs for future generations. I am including a picture of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean and the beauty of this image shall stay with me forever."
- Kehkashan Basu
Global Coordinator for Children and Youth , UNEP MGFC
Global President of the Children’s Board Plant-for-the-Planet