400 STRONG TO SAVE OUR SEAS: HEROES YOUTH CLEAN UP MANZANILLA BEACH WITH KFC AND ICC

2nd November 2023 – Port-of-Spain:  In an inspiring display of unity and environmental stewardship, 400 local and migrant youth volunteers and supporters joined forces, at Manzanilla Beach this past weekend for the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup.  The event culminated this season’s cleanup efforts led by International Coastal Cleanup Trinidad and Tobago (ICCTT) and the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD).  With unwavering determination, the young environmental champions removed an astounding 3,500 pounds of plastic, metal, glass, and miscellaneous debris from over 2 kilometres of coastline.

In an era where environmental challenges loom large, KFC, Heroes, and ICCTT recognise the vital role that youth play in preserving our planet.  They believe in empowering young leaders to be the change needed in the world and instilling in them a sense of responsibility and hope.

Brian Lara with young cricket fans at the SAVE launch with the Heroes Foundation

KFC Volunteers at the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup

“At KFC, we believe in empowering youth to take action and make a difference. KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup is a testament to the power of collective action in safeguarding our environment,” says Roger Rambharose, Vice President KFC. ” As a proud partner of the Heroes Foundation, KFC is committed to nurturing the next generation of environmental champions. With active participation in initiatives like this, young people not only clean up our beaches but also contribute to building a sustainable future.”

Lawrence Arjoon, CEO of the Heroes Foundation, underscores the importance of educating younger generations to shape positive behaviours and empowering them to influence positive behaviour change in their schools and communities.

“Our mission goes beyond cleaning up our beaches,”

Arjoon explains.

“We’re here to educate and inspire young people, instilling in them the values of environmental stewardship and showing them how their behaviours, actions, and voices can have a powerful impact. Through activities like the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup, we help young people understand the impact of their choices and the importance of sustainable living. Therefore seeing that they are not alone in the fight for environmental sustainability, they can build networks for support because it’s about creating a ripple effect that will resonate in their schools, communities, and beyond.”

Hard at work – Brian Lara and Heroes Foundation CEO at the SAVE launch

Heroes Foundation CEO, Lawrence Arjoon, at the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup

For the past 18 years, the Heroes Foundation has been at the forefront of youth beach cleanups in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the ICCTT National Planning Committee.  Driven by a profound understanding of the grave threat posed by ocean pollution in addition to the pivotal role that youth can play in changing the current trajectory, these initiatives have not only contributed to the removal of pollutants from our coastlines but also serve as a crucial source of data on the types of debris that pollute waters internationally.

Marissa Mohamed, ICC Regional Coordinator, emphasises the importance of including youth in the international movement to protect our seas.

” Earth faces a global crisis, and youth involvement is non-negotiable. In other words, the youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of today. Engagement by Heroes, not just for the cleanup, but through the continued education in schools and communities, is essential to drive meaningful change,” Mohamed states. “We are grateful for the partnership with KFC and Heroes, as it highlights the urgency of our mission – a mission that transcends borders, languages, and backgrounds.”

This hands-on action enables young people to take a leadership role in environmental conservation, thus aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) – Life Below Water, which focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. It specifically emphasises the need to address marine pollution, particularly that which originates from land-based activities.

In a world where environmental concerns are mounting, the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup exemplifies the power of unity, education, and action by youth. By empowering young people and fostering an international movement, helps us take significant strides towards a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future for all.

Garbage collected at the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup

A participant with his weird find at the KFC Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup

Showing off the trophies - a participants rests on plastic collected from the Heroes Youth Coastal Cleanup

VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS IN THIS PROJECT WERE FROM THE FOLLOWING GROUPS:

  • Belmont Secondary School
  • Diego Martin North Secondary School
  • Heroes Foundation Child-Friendly Spaces
  • Heroes Generation to Generation (G2G) Council
  • KFC Trinidad and Tobago
  • Manzanilla Police Station

 

  • Marabella South Secondary School
  • Pan-American Development Foundation
  • Siparia West Secondary School
  • Southeast Port-of-Spain Secondary School
  • Success Laventille Secondary School
  • Trinity College, Moka
  • Woodbrook Secondary School

HEORES IS GRATEFUL FOR THE SUPPORT OF ALL PARTNERS FOR THIS EVENT:

  • KFC Trinidad and Tobago
  • S. Brydens & Sons (Trinidad) Ltd
  • Alstons Marketing Company Ltd (AMCO)
  • Blue Waters Products Ltd
  • Eastern Regional Health Authority
  • International Coastal Cleanup
  • Kiss Baking Company
  • Manzanilla Police Station

 

  • Pan-American Development Foundation
  • Sunshine Snacks
  • The Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD).
  • The Ministry of National Security
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
  • Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service
  • VEMCO Limited