YRE Alumni as Youth Leaders

It has only been four months since the UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission was held in Portugal for 42 inspiring participants. The goal was to build their capacities within Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and to inspire them to become Youth Leaders and YRE Ambassadors in their respective countries. Based on recent feedback and reports from the participants, this goal has been reached! Many of them have been highly engaged in a variety of events, projects, workshops, and media productions advocating for sustainable development - both independently and in collaboration with YRE National Operators.    

So far, the participants have managed to host 10 workshops and other educational events for approximately 200 people - and even more workshops are being planned. They have created more than 20 articles, blogs, videos and other media productions, reaching at least 8.000 people (see some of the links below). They also continue to collaborate and exchange ideas through the online platform Slack. Last but not least, eight participants were selected to go to the UNESCO "Youth Saves the Planet" conference in Paris. Read more about the event in the article by Joana Pedro and in the blog post by Vinh Le

Links to some of the online media productions made by participants after the workshop:

Listed below are some of the inspiring updates from the workshop participants, explaining how they have used their knowledge in their home countries to spread awareness of ESD:

Kristijan from Macedonia was invited by the Association of Scouts in Macedonia to organize four workshops within the Youth Academy during the period between 4th-9th April 2018. The workshops were on SDGs topics focusing on: Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda of the UN, Gender Equality, and Good Health and Wellbeing. The youth academy gathered 70 youth and 53 youth participated in the workshops lead by Kristijan. The participants were scouts from different regions and cities, with different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

Francis from Ghana organised a step down training for 12 young people involved with YRE Ghana as well as the YRE National Operator. “It was very beautiful to share with my fellow change makers what I learnt from the training workshop. It was a platform where I trained all of the YRE-Ghana team to have the same level of understating on ESD and the Sustainable Development Goals.”  He has also helped organise several events about the SDGs and is active in the “Plastic Free Ghana” campaign and the African Youth SDGs Summit. He also got the opportunity to participate in an Ispace Foundation podcast, talking about his experience from the conference and the role of education in achieving the SDGs. It was live streamed on their facebook page while the edited version was sent to the British Council of Ghana.

Francis is very active on social media and has reached a huge number of people through his environmental posts and actions. He has also launched the company EasyGo Collection which is using recycled waste fabric to produce conference and laptop bags.

Lauren from France is planning a big ESD training day for approx. 200-500 students at Aix-Marseille’s University in September or October 2018. Moreover, Lauren convinced the managers of a hostel, where she was staying during a work trip in Italy, to get involved in the Green Key programme by bringing some sustainable practices and improvements into their establishment. “I was quite happy about it because for me, ESD is really about being proactive on a daily basis and taking (even small) steps all together!”

KyAsia from Bermuda participated in the annual “Trashion Show” held at Bermuda College in April. For the event, she made an outfit out of upcycled material and also set up an “Impact Table.” “I was inspired by my time in Lisbon at the Capacity Building Training Workshop - and I wanted to educate people about Sustainable Development. I reached out to local organizations such as “Keep Bermuda Beautiful” “Greenrock,” and “Recycle Bermuda” to aid in this process. “Greenrock” provided an interactive game that shows how long it takes for something to biodegrade, and “Keep Bermuda Beautiful” brought trash art pieces as well as an informative display about microplastics. All of these organizations provided signage for the event to help educate people who attended the event.”

Anastasia from Greece organised a three-hour workshop for 15 students at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, International and European Studies Department. During the first part of the workshop, she presented the role of ESD through FEE and HSPN Programmes. She also showed photos and videos from the YRE Mission / UNESCO workshop in Portugal. The second part of the workshop was dedicated to learning about systems thinking, leadership and the interconnection of modern societal/environmental problems. For the final part of the workshop, the students were split into three teams representing three different sectors (Business, NGO, and Government) and were asked to discuss the issue of inequality and come up with ideas of how to fight inequality in each sector.

Phoenix from China is working as a teaching assistant for a new online course “Global Environmental Education” which is run by Cornell Civic Ecology Lab. Over 400 participants from all over the world are enrolled in the course. She is leading the discussions, organising webinars, doing summaries, and reviewing final projects. She also runs a group of 61 participants who are currently taking or have previously taken Cornell EE courses in Jiangsu Province, China.

Nina from Slovenia is planning to carry out an official workshop/seminar in the next school year together with the YRE National Operator as it will be part of the yearly school plan. Nevertheless, she has already organised two custom-made events within her faculty. One was a paper collection action (from which the money was donated to the local Society for the Protection of Animals) and the other was a cleaning action (litter was removed from the faculty and a nearby forest). Around 15 students and a few people of good will participated in each of the actions. In the invitation, as well as at the beginning of the events, Nina introduced YRE and her experiences and impressions of the conference in Portugal. She also invited the participants to become active in YRE Slovenia.

Adriana and Matej from Slovakia jointly ran a half-day session during a three-day YRE workshop for 30 students aged 11-17 (winners of the YRE competition and the most active reporters) as well as teachers, parents and facilitators. They presented their trip to Portugal and gave an introduction to the SDGs. They also held a small photo competition where the students randomly chose a card with a specific SDG and then had to take a photo reflecting the goal. The photos are shared on the national YRE webpage.

Vinh from Canada is in the process of creating an NGO for young designers to teach them about the SDGs, empower them to use art and design to bring awareness to the public, and have them adopt sustainable practices within their own lifestyles. He has also taken on the role as admin for the Slack platform.

Milo from Montenegro did an interview together with the YRE National Operator in Montenegro regarding the activities and impressions from Portugal. The interview is published on the national YRE website as well as a local media station website. They also prepared an interview for the programme "Eko kutak" (Eco corner) which was aired on Radio Kotor. Milo also became a member of the national YRE Jury 2018 and was guest speaker at the annual YRE award ceremony in Montenegro.

Wesley from Singapore has become highly active as a volunteer for different events such as the 2018 Earth Hour and World Water Day. He has also signed up for the WWF X HSBC Water Education Programme later in August where he will be educating kids and adults at national libraries about how water is vital to building healthy communities. He has also volunteered to edit and proofread a guidebook that WWF Singapore is creating for primary and secondary school students regarding their schools’ carbon footprint. Lastly, he is developing a website that aims to gather volunteers every now and then to go on interesting sustainability field-works in Singapore - after which a journalistic piece will be published by the volunteers.

Young Reporters at the 2018 USLS in Bangkok

Two inspiring students, Joanna Tao and Sungyeon Kwon, have been chosen to participate in the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) as YRE representatives. The event is a week-long leadership development training programme which will bring together 1,000 of the most promising leaders in the world. As stated on the USLS website, "the Programme has been designed for young persons who are committed to making this world a much better place for the human race". The symposium will be held at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand from 1-7 August 2018. 

Apart from being regular participants of the training programme, Joanna and Sungyeon will be working as Young Reporters. During the event, the two of them will be creating posts for the YRE social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtags #YRE_INT, #FEE, and #YouthLeaders. After the event, they will also create more in-depth articles and videos about certain topics that caught their attention during the seven days. Their work will be presented on the YRE Exposure page from the 14th of August. 

Below you can read more about the two participants, including their experience with YRE and their expectations to the event. 

Joanna Tao from New Zealand

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"I am an 18 years old student from the University of Auckland, studying the Bachelor of Urban Planning with Honours. Throughout the years, I became aware of more environmental issues as I have noticed growing environmental concern both in my community and globally. That is when my interest in being an environmentalist grew stronger. Through my dedication to improving our global food waste problem by researching into local dumpster diving and food waste problems, I have written a report on dumpster diving in New Zealand. This has resulted in me becoming the national winner for YRE Writing Category for 15-18 years old in New Zealand, December 2016. I look forward to my full participation at the conference as I am honoured to be chosen as a YRE representative. It is expected that I will engage at a high level with other like-minded young people, as well as expand my knowledge of the SDG. Whilst doing so, I would also like to learn from speakers and experts at the conference who were able to utilise their passion for journalism and the environment in their careers. By attending the conference, it will allow me to expand my horizons and learn to advocate for the environment through different channels, on both local and global scale."

Sungyeon Kwon from Korea

Sungyeon Kwon.jpg

"My name is Sungyeon Kwon, and I am an undergraduate student at Korea University. I major in Linguistics and Media & Communication. Collaborating as a team with my best friend, Yunhyun Heo, diverse experience in numerous different video competitions taught me about the power of media. This led me and Yunhyun to join the YRE competition, because we felt strong about the problems climate change brought in our country. The video is a story of a girl who experiences harmful effects of climate change caused by global warming. She realizes the seriousness of the problem and produces a broadcast media to share information on environmental problems. The main character, during the interview to make a film, finds out that climate change will amplify and be inherited to our descendants. To solve this problem, she comes up with the idea of utilizing diverse media to share opinions and information on environmental problems and make a motivation for the public to notice them. This shares the objective of the 13th SDGs goal, climate action, to fight against climate change and its impacts. As a result, the video won an honorable mention award in the 2018 YRE international competition, and I was gracefully selected as YRE representative. Instead, Yunhyun is currently serving his mandatory military service in the Korean Army. Now, as a YRE representative and delegate of Korea, I will be participating in the 2018 UN-USLS (University Scholars Leadership Symposium) in Bangkok, with another YRE representative, Joanna, delegate of New Zealand. During the symposium, I expect to reach youth empowerment, especially regarding the problems related to SDGs. I hope the winning projects of 2018 YRE competition become a motivation for adolescents around the globe to become YRE reporters themselves."

YRE International awarded with the Earth Prize 2018

On 23-24 of June, YRE International Director Gosia Luszczek travelled to Luino, Italy to receive the very first edition of the Earth Prize on behalf of YRE International. She is extremely proud that the hard work of the National Operators, teachers, students, and the YRE International team has been recognized by WEEC (World Environmental Education Congress).

The Earth Prize was created by the WEEC Network as a prize for environmental education and landscape. “Earth Prize wants to be a multiplier of positive actions for the environment and the quality of life”, Luca Novelli, artistic director of the award, explains. 

Adriána Henčeková, an aspiring journalist highly involved with YRE in Slovakia, was invited to report on the event as a Young Reporter. Follow her journey to Italy in this inspiring YouTube video and read more about the event and her experiences in the article published on Exposure

Huge thanks to the WEEC Network for the award and to the City of Luino for hosting the event! Read more about the Earth Prize and the event on the official website

PRESS RELEASE: YRE International Jury and Competition Winners 2018

PRESS RELEASE

YRE International Jury and Competition Winners 2018

Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Kristina Madsen, International YRE Coordinator | E: kristina@fee.global

Copenhagen, June 2018

The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) International Jury meeting for the 2018 Competition successfully took place on the 31st of May at the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) head office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

This year, FEE received a total of 178 entries from 30 countries for both the International YRE Competition and for the Litter Less Campaign competition. This is the largest number of entries FEE has ever received, emphasising the great global interest in the YRE programme and the Litter Less Campaign.

The Jury discussed the top national entries from the media categories of articles, photographs and videos across the age groups 11-14, 15-18, 19-21, as well as the International Collaboration category. The Jury also reviewed entries from the Litter Less Campaign.

Taking into account the journalistic qualities of the entries, their use of YRE methodology, their creativeness and relevancy, and their link to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Jury was free to give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, as well as honourable mentions, as they saw fit. The final winners are listed below and will be published on Huffington Post Kids as a prize. All entries can be found on the competition's Exposure page.

 International YRE Jury 2018

International YRE Jury 2018

This years’ International Jury was composed of professionals in the fields of environmental journalism and Education for Sustainable Development. The members are:

  • Christopher Slaney, Freelance Journalist
  • Garrette Clark, Sustainable Lifestyles Programme Officer, UNEP
  • Julie Saito, Programme Specialist of Communication, UNESCO
  • Torvald Jacobsson, Founding Partner of Edumanity and COO of TheGoals.org, Lund University (IIIEE)
  • Pedro Marcellino, Documentary Film Producer and Director
  • Mayra Navarrete, Photographer
  • Constant Brand, Press Officer, European Environment Agency
  • Boris Šušmak, FEE Board Member
  • Richard Steed, Communications Officer, FEE

You can find more information on their profiles here

Reflecting on the development of the YRE Programme, Jury member Pedro Marcellino, notes:

“Over the last 20 years of my involvement, first as a student, and now as a jury member, YRE has changed immensely and repeatedly, growing from a European to an international programme, adapting to remain relevant and at the forefront of pivotal changes in the media, technological and environmental education landscapes, and collaborating with thought leaders and agencies spearheading the agenda internationally. The animated discussions at this year’s international competition jury meeting were reflective of this constant reinvention, and indicative not only of an increasing quality in submissions from all around the world over the last 3 years, but also of higher expectations by the jury from year to year.”

The YRE International Competition winners for 2018 are:

Article

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: Atrazine in drinking water: Slovakia's biggest treasure at risk
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: Fairy Alkima is waiting for the golden ship
Country: Montenegro

Honourable mention
Title: Glitter your life with litter - Lessons from Akosombo International School (AIS)
Country: Ghana

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: Whiteboard markers: From investigation to change
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: The drawbacks to clothing consumption
Country: Sweden

3rd Place
Title: REDUCE, REUSE, REFILL - Reducing your plastic waste one cup at a time
Country: Canada

19-21 years old

1st Place
Title: When youth hostel goes with eco-friendly tourism
Country: France

1st Place
Title: Tan Tan: From a garden watered by running water to a barren wasteland looking for drops of water
Country: Morocco

Photo

11-14 years old

1st Place (as a reportage photo)
Title: On tiptoes
Country: Slovakia

Note from Jury: Garbage containers should be accessible for everyone while remaining safe.

Honourable mention (as a campaign photo)
Title: Save the octopus
Country: Greece

Honourable mention (as a reportage photo)
Title: Bird in wetland
Country: China

15-18 years old

1st Place (as a campaign photo)
Title: Clean water - a given in the future?
Country: Sweden

1st Place (as a campaign photo)
Title: Garbage feast
Country: South Korea

19-21 years old

Honourable mention (as a reportage photo)
Title: Never ending sunset - Light pollution
Country: Malta

Honourable mention (as a campaign photo)
Title: Make a stand
Country: Slovakia

Video

11-14 years old

1st Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Sticky curse
Country: Slovakia

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: PaperLand
Country: Greece

2nd Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Luehdorfia Research
Country: China

15-18 years old

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Plastic pollution
Country: Canada

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Alexandra township in Johannesburg is invaded by rats: What sustainable solutions do exist?
Country: France / South Africa

19-21 years old

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Green waste - no waste: The campaign to promote bio-waste sorting
Country: Slovakia

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Story to change tomorrow: Paradox of global warming
Country: South Korea

International Collaboration

No awards given this year.

 

Winners in Litter Less Campaign category

The Jury also discussed the top national entries from schools participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Below are the results of the evaluation:

Article

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: It’s a nesting nightmare: The untold plastic story
Country: Wales

Honourable mention
Title: The trash around us
Country: Malta

Honourable mention
Title: Plastic waste: A global issue with local solutions
Country: Northern Ireland

15-18 years old

Honourable mention
Title: Looking for a savvy consumer
Country: Israel

Honourable mention
Title: I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, wrapped in plastic; it’s NOT fantastic
Country: Northern Ireland

Honourable mention
Title: Cardigan combats plastic pollution
Country: Wales

19-21 years old

No entries were submitted in this age group

Photo

11-14 years old

No awards were given in this age group.

15-18 years old

Honourable mention (as a reportage photo)
Title: Trash does not roll
Country: Spain

19-21 years old

No awards were given in this age group.

Video

11-14 years old

1st Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Litter in your lunch
Country: New Zealand

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Food waste crime report
Country: Northern Ireland

2nd Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Social experiment – waste disposal
Country: Israel

15-18 years old

1st Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Greasy trash
Country: Malta

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Thinking outside the box
Country: Israel

19-21 years old

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Waste bin story
Country: Malta

Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your participation!

UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission 2018

Last month, 15-19 of March, more than 50 people from all over the world gathered in Almada, Portugal for one of the biggest international YRE Mission so far! This three-day workshop focused on Education for Sustainable Development and aimed at creating future Youth Leaders. The event was realized as a cooperation between UNESCO and Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).    

42 inspiring young people, aged between 18 and 35, had been selected to participate due to their specific knowledge, skills, and passion for the environment. Read the profiles of each participant here. 

The first day of the workshop consisted welcome speeches, an ice breaker activity, and four interactive sessions on leadership, systems thinking, conflict transformation, and sustainability.

This knowledge was put to use on the second day when the participants visited and researched different environmental organisations and projects around Lisbon. On this day, the participants also wrote articles, made photo reportages and edited videos about the site visits. Some stayed up all night to deliver the best possible result! Their work can be seen on Exposure - Look for the UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission tagline.

On the third day, the groups presented their work and got feedback from the facilitators and the other participants. The final session was about networking and also served as inspiration for their future role as Youth Leaders.   

For personal reflections on the three days, visit: 
Connie Le’s photo blog
Kristin Rodrigo’s video blog
Vinh Le's blog post
KyAsia Scott-Fishenden's article

Video editor: Kai Xiang (participant from Singapore)

Now, the 42 new Youth Leaders are expected to lead a positive change in their respective countries. Within the next two months, they will be carrying out specific actions to promote environmental awareness in their local communities. Radio interviews, news articles, photo and video blogs, and presentations have already been made! We’ll be following their work and results!   

A big thank you to UNESCO for making this workshop possible and to the Portuguese organisation ABAE for hosting the event. Also thank you to the four amazing facilitators who carried out the sessions:

  • Mona Zoghbi (Sustainable Development Consultant)
  • Emmanuel Koro (Environmental journalist)
  • Pedro Marcelino (Journalist, writer and film producer)
  • Christopher Slaney (Freelance journalist and television news producer)

FEE at COP23 in Bonn, Germany

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is pleased to announce its partnership agreement with the UN Climate Change for the participation of YRE students at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), taking place in Boon, Germany from 6-17 November.

The partnership aims at promoting the implementation of climate action, as well as the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

During COP23, the Foundation for Environmental Education will host a mini event at the UNESCO Pavilion at 10:00 on Thursday 16 November.

Title: Climate Education – how far are we?

The importance of Climate Education is undeniable. Changing people’s perception and behaviour through education is the way to create long-lasting positive impact. Guest speakers showcase their achievements and allow the audience to learn how Climate Education influences people and think about how we can improve.

Guest speakers

  1. Kenza Khallafi – The Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection
  2. Allison Gacad – Student, Young Reporters for the Environment, FEE
  3. Charles Hopkins – UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, York University
  4. Libby Giles – Global Citizenship Education Director

One of the five FEE programmes, Young Reporters for the Environment, has selected four young reporters to represent the programme at COP23. They will be reporting about the conference from the perspective of youth. More information can be found here: http://www.yre.global/stories-news/2017/11/7/young-reporters-at-the-cop-23

Young Reporters at the COP 23

This year's UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) is taking place from 6 - 17 November in Bonn, Germany. 

Four Young Reporters were selected to represent the YRE programme at the COP23. They will be working as reporters to cover and report about events and sessions in Bonn Zone at the COP23 venue where side events and high level events are taking place. They will also share their experience through the YRE programme at a mini event on Climate Education at the UNESCO Pavilion on Thursday 16 November at 10:00.  

FEE has signed a partnership agreement with UN Climate Change on this initiative to support the work of Young Reporters at the COP23.

Their work will be presented on the YRE Exposure page from 14 November. The snapshots from the conference will be shared from Monday 13 November on YRE social media platforms: Facebook page, Twitter, Youtube channel and Instagram (@yre_int).

Here are the selected Young Reporters:

Adriána Henčeková, Slovakia

Adka yre.jpg

My name is Adriána Henčeková and I am 18 years old. I live in the Eastern part of Slovakia in a small city Spišská Nová Ves. I am a high school student. I am interested in biology and geography at school. I have been in the programme Young reporters for the Environment for 6 years now. I am focusing mostly on taking photos and writing articles. Thanks to this programme I started to be interested in the environment and writing became my passion.


Allison Gacad, Canada

Allison.jpg

I am an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia studying nutrition within the context of food security and environmental sustainability. Beyond the classroom, I have a passion for writing that I hope to combine with my analytical skills in the Sciences to support a future career in journalism. My love for our environment stems from exploring Canada’s forests, mountains, and oceans - be it in my hometown, Toronto, or my current city, Vancouver. As a Young Reporter, I am incredibly excited and grateful to bring COP23 to the communities I’ve worked with throughout the years!


Mafalda Gomes, Portugal

Mafalda.JPG

My name is Mafalda Gomes and I was recently chosen to be a representative of YRE for the COP23. Just this past month my country was devastated by late season wildfires, one of the many indisputable effects of global warming, making 2017 the deadliest year on record for forest blazes. The future of planet Earth depends entirely on the commitments and sacrifices that we, as humans, are willing to make for the sake of a brighter future for generations to come.  Quoting UN Women Goodwill ambassador Emma Watson:” If not me, who? If not now, when?”


Max Lönn, Sweden

ME.jpg

I am very excited to be a part of YRE team at the COP 23. It is amazing that the youth get to participate in such a huge event. I believe that the media has a huge part to play in changing the way the world deals with climate issues, just as politicians and scientists. I am really looking forward to traveling to Bonn and hoping not only to make a difference but also having a great experience to look back upon in the future.

 

The initiative is partnered with UN Climate Change.

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PRESS RELEASE: YRE International Competition 2017

Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Yukiko Tsuburaya, International YRE Assistant | E: yukiko@fee.global

 

Copenhagen, 2 October 2017 - The Young Reporters for the Environment International Competition is open to all students aged 11-21 from the 35 countries participating in the YRE programme. Do you feel passionate about the environment?  Do you want to express your opinion?  Then, do not hesitate, participate in the International YRE Competition by writing an article, submitting a photo, or making a video.  The winning entries will be published internationally on the Huffington Post Kids and on the YRE International websites!

The YRE International Competition is for winners of the YRE National Competition in countries running the YRE programme. Students who are participating in the YRE programme in each country have a right to participate in the competition. Students have to compete and be selected as a national winner before being sent onwards to the International Competition.

The YRE International Competition consists of three different categories. 

  • International Competition – open to all countries and all themes, except for the litter theme for countries participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Countries that are not participating in the Campaign, can still submit entries related to the litter problem.
  • Litter Less Campaign – theme litter, open to countries that are involved in the Litter Less Campaign: Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Israel, Wales, Spain, Northern Ireland, Malta and Ireland.
* Please note that the submissions under the theme of Litter from Litter Less Campaign countries will be evaluated separately, and the winners will receive recognition with a certificate.
  • International Collaboration – open to all countries with three recommended themes from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 11-Sustainable Cities, 12-Responsible Consumption & Production, 13-Climate Action. The submission must be in the form of a written Article and be a collaborative work between two countries.  It is open to the age category 15-18 years.

17 Sustainable Development Goals through the YRE Competition

YRE is aiming to integrate the SDGs into the YRE International Competition in the near future. Therefore, in every country SDGs will be introduced though the National Competition.

 

More information: http://www.yre.global/yre-competition  

YRE students attending WEEC in Vancouver

YRE students attending WEEC in Vancouver

For the second time, YRE has been given the exciting opportunity of sending students to participate in the World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC).

This year, the congress will take place in Vancouver in Canada from the 9th to the 13th of September. YRE will be represented by 13 aspiring students from Turkey and Canada, including three from Seaquam Secondary, two from University of British Columbia, and eight from Izmir Saint Joseph High School.

The students will attend the different sessions, conduct interviews with participants, and write articles about their experiences. Make sure to have a look on Exposure, as we will be uploading the students’ articles here.

For the final plenary session, on the 13th of September, a highly dedicated student from Canada has been selected to be part of the panel discussion. Abnash Bassi is a grade 11 student from Seaquam Secondary in Delta. Through her participation in the YRE programme, she was inspired to become involved in a variety of activities related to education and environment. On the panel, she will be representing YRE internationally and she will also be talking about her personal experiences from the programme. 

With Abnash’s permission, we are sharing the following extract from her application:

“For me, YRE means focusing on spreading environmental awareness, but more so empowering myself and others to explore the capabilities we have in being messengers of change. You see, the power of being a Young Reporter for the Environment lies not in the title, nor the recognition, but in the raw epiphany that it serves as. As a teenager, I consume an endless amount of media. We use the media to learn, understand, and evolve alongside the world around us. However, a great deal of environmental issues are not explored by the media, and when they are, the coverage is often confusing and incomplete. This lack of coverage creates a gaping chasm in society’s understanding and fosters cognitive dissonance or even blind ignorance. It is within this chasm that the seemingly short term challenge of creating a video, composing a photo, or crafting an essay transforms into a long term bridge, a continuum of awareness. We ourselves can cover essential environmental issues - not just as reporters for a media company, or a school newspaper, but as reporters for the environment.”

PRESS RELEASE: Litter Less Campaign Phase III

The Litter Less Campaign: Six years and still going strong

Litter_Less_logo.jpg

Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director
Foundation for Environmental Education
E: gosia@fee.global

September 2017 marks the beginning of Phase III (year 7) of the Litter Less Campaign, a joint initiative of the Wrigley Company Foundation and the Foundation for Environmental Education. The Campaign aims to engage and educate children and young people on the issue of litter and encourage them to make positive choices.

Two phases have been completed over the past six years, and the continued collaboration confirms the importance of the work and the on-going necessity of dealing with issues of litter and encouraging thoughtful behaviour from early on.

The main objectives of the Campaign are to:

  • raise awareness of the effect of litter and waste on the local environment
  • increase knowledge and practical skills in preventing and managing litter and waste
  • improve students’ behaviour and the schools’ waste management treatment
  • report on litter issues
  • encourage collaboration between schools for spreading good practices
  • tackle the issue of litter with active involvement from the local community

The partnership between the Wrigley Company Foundation and FEE already has a history of over six years of very effective collaboration. Phase II of the Litter Less Campaign began in 2014 and since then has been running in 35 countries in schools which engage in two of the FEE programmes - Eco-Schools (ES) and Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE). Over the full period of implementation of the Campaign, since 2011, 1,962,285 students in 3,184 schools from all over the world have been engaged. Such reach suggests that there is undoubtedly an impact on participants’ perceptions, behaviour and opinion leadership. In 2015-2016, a total of 1,356 Community Action Days were held and 240 schools introduced recycling systems.

For a short video about the achievements of the Litter Less Campaign Phase I and II, click here.

The Litter Less Campaign is our organisation’s largest project that embeds a positive and fruitful partnership between the Wrigley Company Foundation as the enabler, and FEE, its members, National Operators and participating schools as the implementers. This strong relationship allows for transparency and flexibility, which is ultimately what ensures the delivery of a fantastic Campaign.

Anne Vela-Wagner, Wrigley Company Foundation Executive Director, notes:
The Wrigley Company Foundation is proud of the positive transformation that has occurred in schools and communities around the world through the Litter Less campaign. Teaching students to be leaders and work to change littering behaviour and improve their communities is the strength of the program”.

The new Phase III will engage schools from 15 countries from both the YRE and Eco-Schools programmes. At the end of the project, we plan to have over half a million of students involved in practical activities related to litter prevention. Our target is to change students’ behaviour and increase understanding and action around litter prevention by an additional 10% of the students we serve.

Daniel Schaffer, CEO of the Foundation for Environmental Education, adds:
“The Litter Less Campaign is a textbook example of how positive collaboration between the corporate world and a respected NGO can realise a shared vision. We highly appreciate the long-term partnership with the Wrigley Company Foundation and we are extremely grateful for the possibility of moving the Litter Less Campaign into Phase III. Their strong commitment and support cannot be taken for granted.”

Participating through the Young Reporters for the Environment Programme:

  • Australia
  • China 
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Malta 
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Spain
  • Wales

Participating through the Eco-Schools Programme:

  • Australia
  • China
  • England
  • India 
  • Ireland 
  • Kenya
  • Mexico 
  • Northern Ireland
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • Spain 
  • Wales

About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

With members in 76 countries around the world, FEE’s programmes represent the cutting edge in Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education. It is the vision of the Foundation for Environmental Education that its programmes empower people everywhere to live sustainably and in an environmentally conscious manner.

About the Wrigley Company Foundation

The Wrigley Company Foundation has awarded more than $70 million USD since its establishment in 1987. With a focus on oral health, the environment, particularly education for litter prevention, and improving Wrigley’s site and sourcing communities, it works to build brighter futures around the world.

About Wrigley

Wrigley is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, and lollipops. Wrigley's world-famous brands – including Extra®, Orbit®, Doublemint®, and 5™ chewing gums, as well as confectionery brands Skittles®, Starburst®, Altoids® and Life Savers® – create simple pleasures for consumers every day. With operations across 50 countries and distribution in more than 180 countries, Wrigley's brands bring smiles to faces around the globe. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, employs approximately 15,000 associates globally, and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.
 
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 85,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

YRE International Jury and Competition Winners 2017

The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) International Jury meeting for the 2017 Competition successfully took place on 24 May at the Foundation for Environmental Education Head Office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

YRE International Jury 2017

The Jury this year was composed of stakeholders in the fields of environmental journalism and Education for Sustainable Development. The members are Christopher Slaney, Freelance Journalist, Mari Nishimura, Associate Programme Officer, UNEP, Julie Saito, Programme Specialist of Communication, UNESCO, Clemens Bomsdorf, Journalist and Correspondent for the Nordic countries, Anne Vela-Wagner, Executive Director of the Wrigley Company Foundation, Pedro Marcelino, Documentary Film Producer and Director, Mayra Navarrete, Photographer, Boris Šušmak, FEE Board Member, and Antti Kaartinen, Communications Expert currently working as a Press Officer at the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Copenhagen. You can find more information on their profiles here

The Jury went through and discussed the top national entries in the media categories of articles, photographs and videos, across the age categories 11-14, 15-18, 19-21, as well as the International Collaboration category. The Jury reviewed also entries from the Litter Less Campaign. The Jury then decided on this year's YRE International Competition winners, who will be published on Huffington Post kids as a prize. All entries can be found on the competition's Exposure page.

Here is a general comment from the Jury members:

The Jury appreciated this year’s submissions for the YRE International Competition. The Jury recognised the improved quality of the entries submitted for the competition this year. The Jury also recognised two types of entries, first - based on general YRE rules, recognised as a journalistic entry (in the photo and video category) and the second type, campaign photo or video. The Jury decided to award some of the entries with the above comments and suggested to continue the competition in the future with recognition of those two categories. 

The winners for 2017 are:

Article

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: The food waste crisis
Author: Amanda Amaeshi (Scotland) 

2nd Place
Title: Illegal landfills in Bar municipality
Author: Lucija Milović (Montenegro)

3rd Place
Title: Water… life on Earth
Author: Ameen Rabea (Israel)

Honourable mention
Title: Reducing plastic pollution requires habit change
Author: Sophia Schultz (Canada)

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: Bay in the Balance: Ocean Acidification Threatens the Chesapeake Ecosystem
Author: Clara Benadon (United States)

2nd Place
Title: Water in the maltese areas… Every drop counts
Author:  Samira Axiak and Jessica Schembri (Malta)

19-21 years old

Honourable mention
Title: Forest can help to feed the world's population
Author: Olivia Forssén and Felicia Persson (Sweden)

Honourable mention
Title: Flowers: The candle that burns to illumnate the population of "Dades"
Author: Badia El Faskaoui, Fatima Zahra Achich, Fatima Zahra Saidi, Moussa Fadili, Malika El Oualy and Rachid Aarime suêrvised bu Teacher M. Sabir Masstour (Morocco)

Photograph

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: The goat liked it (as a YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Andrija Babović (Montenegro)

1st Place
Title: Heritage? (as a YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Eva Mančíková (Slovakia)

2nd Place
Title: Lake Balkhash: exciting and frightening (as a YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Tatyana Ekkart (Kazkhstan)

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: For a brighter future  (as a YRE campaign photo)
Author: Astrid Aronsson and Linnéa Gren (Sweden)

1st Place
Title: Doksasmeni Lake (as a YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Nicholas Mouros (Cyprus)

Honourable mention
Title: Like a fish out of water (as a YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Nikolina Golubović (Montenegro)

19-21 years old

1st Place
Title: Wounds in the landscape (as YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Frederico Santos (Portugal)

Honourable mention
Title: Is there a difference between life and life? (as a YRE campaign photo)
Author: Joakim Lindqvist, Elin Eriksson, Michelle Sjögren and  Julia Berg (Sweden)

Honourable mention
Title: Livelihoods and nature (as a YRE journalistic photo)
Author: Faissal Ammi (Morocco)

Video

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: Rethinking Nature, thinking with Nature
Author: Merlin Goleret, Anthony Heuvin, Lennon Jeaugey, Paula Kimpfler, Jeanne Lepelletier, Illiana Levillair, Romain Lopez, Diégo Luca, Ronan Mahaud, Diana Mai, Téoman Ozturk, Alexander Rosengart, Maéla Sala-Alvarez, Benjamin Souci, Marine Soussan-Jeannot, Emilie Thiebot, Luna Torres-Navarro, Andres Vacca, Claire Vafadar, Maïka Vilanova Almagia (France)

2nd Place
Title: The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is back
Author: Andreia Ferreira, Beatriz Tavares, Inês Tavaresa and Leonor Carvalho (Portugal)

Honorable mention in campaign
Title: “Littering? You can do better!” Don’t let Pokemon Go distract you from looking after our environment (as a YRE campaign video)
Author: Ana Hoonhout (New Zealand)

Honorable mention in campaign
Title: Water Shortage (Save the Water, Save the World) (as a YRE campaign video)
Author: Dongsan Elementry School (South Korea)

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: Where Bees Do Not Fly
Author: Tamara Eliašová, Mária Jánošiková and Michal Mazánik (Slovakia)

2nd Place
Title: Food Waste: The Search for a Simple Solution
Author: Megan He (United States)

2nd Place
Title: A greener lawn to play football
Author: Laura Bissakou, Rosine Imossio, Amanda Goubakouly-Mouendengo and Houlda Okyemou (France - French High School in Congo)

19-21 years old

Honorable mention for technique
Title: Global warming, killing us
Author: Kim eun sol and Jung you jin (South Korea)

International Collaboration

1st Place
Title: Coffee Production and Consumption – The Issues and Solutions.
Author: Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus (Northern Ireland) and Lycee Pole, Fort Dauphin (Madagascar).

2nd Place
Title: Bringing back the past to assure the future
Author: Sofia Castanho (Portugal) and Adriána Henčeková (Slovakia)

 

 

Winners in Litter Less Campaign category 

The Jury also discussed the top national entries from schools participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Below are the results of the evaluation:

Article

Age 11 - 14

1st Place
Title: Change is Coming: Reusable Food Boxes
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: The Litter Less and Dunk The Junk Campaign
Country: Ireland

2nd Place
Title: Everybody is Responsible for Garbage Reduction
Country: China

Age 15 - 18

1st Place
Title: The advertising brochure – a monster swallowing yearly a whole forest
Country: Romania

2nd Place
Title: The Choice is Yours! Bioplastics for Cleaner Environment
Country: Slovakia

3rd Place
Title: Food Waste
Country: Portugal

Age 19 - 21

1st Place
Title: Litter: Old issue, New chapter
Country: Portugal

Photo

Age 11 - 14

1st Place
Title: I don´t belong here
Country: Portugal

2nd Place
Title: Where laugh, and games, and children are?
Country: Kazakhstan

3rd Place
Title: A corner of pollution on lake Bicaz
Country: Romania

Age 15 - 18

1st Place
Title: Imprisoned
Country: Slovakia

Mention
Title: Mirror
Country: Romania

Mention
Title: Cotton swabs on the beaches. How to solve it?
Country: Portugal

Age 19 - 21

No winner

Video

Age 11 - 14

1st Place
Title: Can you Trash?
Country: China

2nd Place
Title: Reducing waste
Country: Israel

Honorable mention
Title: Again pollution, looking for solutions
Country: Romania

Age 15 - 18

Honorable mention
Title: Bubble Tea - The Taste of Waste
Country: Slovakia

Honorable mention
Title: The Green Goblin
Country: Ireland

Age 19 - 21

1st Place
Title: Recycle to save!
Country: Portugal

 

Congratulation to all winners and thank you for your participation!

Result - YRE Short Video Competition

Result - YRE Short Video Competition

YRE International opened a Short Video Competition during the Global Action Days in November 2016 and in April 2017. 

We received numbers of great entries from enthusiastic Young Reporters from around the world. We want to thank all the participants for their great work and the engagement on the YRE programme. We hope that you will be pursuing your ambition and keeping up with your great work. 

After much deliberation, we chose Rúben de Matos from Portugal as the winner of the competition.  

Congratulation to Rúben! 

 

We would also like to give special mentions to the following participants for their outstanding work.  

Adriana Hencekova (Slovakia)

Carolina Fonseca (Portugal)

Joana Pedro (Portugal)

Luis Caixado (Portugal)

Martina Mifsud (Malta) 

Michael Jessup (New Zealand)

Ricardo Rocha (Portugal)

 

We were very happy to see some entries from old Young Reporters from more than a decade ago! 

Thank you again for your contribution!

 

It is NOM time again!

This year’s Young Reporters for the Environment National Operators Meeting (NOM) is taking place in Guimarães, Portugal from 16-18 February.

The meeting will be hosted by Associação Bandeira Azul da Europa (ABAE), FEE member organisation in Portugal. Thanks to their great work and the warm hospitality of the city of Guimarães, everything is in place and we are looking forward to another exciting NOM again this year.

It will be the biggest YRE NOM yet, with over 30 National Operators from 30 countries. We will also have guest speakers who will give us inspirational talks on various topics related to the programme. We will, of course, have our Young Reporters too who will report on the meeting and showcase their activities and skills.

We have received some messages from our participants.


“Keep New Zealand Beautiful joined YRE because we believe that young people can make a huge positive change by inspiring our leaders to provide a clean, green environment for future generations.  I’m looking forward to meeting all the National Operators so that we may share both the successes and challenges faced in each of our respective countries.  As a newoperator I am hoping to learn as much as I can and then bring that knowledge back to New Zealand to build an even bigger and better YRE programme.”
Christine, National Operator in New Zealand


“I’m really looking forward to this year’s NOM.  It’s always great to meet other National Operators, share ideas and be inspired. I’m also looking forward to discussions about how to develop theprogramme and how to relate to the SDGs.”
Pia, National Operator in Sweden


“This will be the biggest YRE NOM ever and I am looking forward to meeting all the National Operators! It is really nice to see how the programme itself is growing and I think we should be more than proud about that. It will also be a very important NOM as per future development discussions of the programme. Last but not least, it will be also very important to exchange ideas and models about how to run the programme nationally. Let’s run YRE even more efficiently! I am already excited, and you?”
Boris, FEE Board member for YRE

 

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in a few days!

YRE exposure at the COP 22

This year's Climate Change Conference (COP22) took place in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016.

YRE had a successful presentation at the COP 22, thanks to the great initiative shown by our Moroccan FEE/YRE member organisation, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental protection.  

One of the highlights was that two YRE students presented "the Voice of Youth", a recommendation of actions towards combatting Climate Change, in front of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC secretary Executive, Irina Bokova UNESCO General Director, and the minister of education of Morocco. 

Mariame Mouhoub, YRE Student from Marrakech also presented a statement on the youth future in front of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI and Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which was another key moment for the programme. 

 

Hands on work by Young Reporters

  Left: Filipa Murta / Right: Joana Pedro

Left: Filipa Murta / Right: Joana Pedro

At the COP 22, we had two Young Reporters from Portugal, Joana Pedro and Filipa Murta, covering the sessions and events. They have produced articles and videos on the COP 22 and they are posted on the YRE Exposure page. 

"Accepting the challenge of going to Marrakesh in Morocco and having the mission to go to COP 22 to prepare journalistic material was undoubtedly very gratifying and enriching. It was very interesting to notice the multicultural presence at the COP 22, there were people from all over the world and mobilized by the same hope for the sustainability, a better world in which we can live. Observing the courage and hope of the representatives changed my perspective. I left Morocco with other horizons and new visions about the world. For me the most interesting and powerful moment was the workshop that we had together with Young Reporters from Morocco and also from Africa. In addition to environmental knowledge, I learned how a country can be so different from ours. An experience to repeat ..."

Filipa Murta

 

"Being at the COP22 as an YRE was an absolutely amazing and memorable experience. Despite being a little lost at first, we started exploring the COP venue and Marrakech itself and we felt at home almost instantly. In a few days I was able to encounter several people from different countries, also interested in climate issues, and understand how a conference of this magnitude works.  Concluding, the opportunity of being involved in the COP made me outgrow and surpass myself, forcing me to practice new skills and adapt to the odd environment around me. Being at the COP is all an YRE can ask for."

Joana Pedro

Get on board!! - YRE Global Action Days

The Global Action Days is a call for all students and teachers around the world to be active and share their actions on being more sustainable in our modern world. Become inspired and be part of the change this world needs!

The period for the Global Action Days 2016 is from 7 to 13 November. 

 

Learn more about YRE Global Action Days

 

Share your actions and stories on our Global Action Days Facebook page where you can also read about great stories from all around the world. 

 

YRE short video competition

YRE International is organising a short video competition for all the current and previous participants of YRE programme. Read more about the competition from below! 

YRE short video competition

 

Young Reporters on a mission at the COP 22

YRE International is giving our programme participants various opportunities to participate in the international conferences related to environmental issues. This year, we are sending two Young Reporters from Portugal,  Joana Pedro and Filipa Murta to the Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. The conference will take place from 7 to 18 November. They will be reporting on workshops and other events from the conference venue. Their reports and stories will be shared on YRE Exposure page and YRE Facebook and Twitter

Joana Pedro

'Having been chosen to be present in the COP22 is a great honour. I am really excited to go to Marrakesh and to have the oportunity of taking part in this conference as an YRE. I hope to be up to the task, that it meets my expectations and also concedes me the chance to get to know other YRE's that share some of my motivations and thoughts.'

Her experience as a YRE Student began in 2011, when a teacher introduced her to the YRE programme in Portugal. 'I had never dreamt to be a journalist my love for the environment and nature made me become interested to discover the project. Since then I have participated in 4 seminars in Portugal, 4 missions and 1 workshop, and I am eager to continue to be a part of it, since it has just got me fond memories, loads of good friends, knowledge and the opportunity to develop new skills.'

Filipa Murta

'With Young Reporters for the Environment, my professional and personal evolution has been remarkable. In 2012, I joined this project and it’s easy to recognize the variety of activities that provides us. I started as a Eco-Reporter of Energy and later became a Young Reporter for the Environment. I also participated in missions and seminars, sharing knowledge with other colleagues', Filipa says. 

'I am excited about the opportunity to go to a place where I have never been, with a culture that is also new to me. I will be active throughout my stay in Marrakech. I will try to enjoy the cultural differences, utilize my English during the conference, and establish new contacts'. 
 

Watch the video below, to know more about Filipa.

PRESS RELEASE: YRE International Competition

Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Yukiko Tsuburaya, International YRE Assistant | E: yukiko@fee.global

Copenhagen, October 2016

Do you feel passionate about the environment? Do you want to get the chance to show your photo, video or article to everyone? Don't hesitate and participate with us in the International YRE Competition. The winning entries will be published internationally on the Huffington Post Kids and on the YRE International website!
YRE international competition is for winners of YRE National Competition in country running YRE programme. Students who are participating in the YRE programme in each country has a right to participate in the competition. Students have to compete and be selected as national winner to be sent to the international competition.

International Competition categories
 
YRE International Competition is consisted of three different categories.
 
International Competition – open for all countries with every theme, except for the theme litter for countries participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Countries that are not participating in the campaign, still can submit entries related to litter problem.

Litter Less Campaign – theme litter, open for countries that are involved in the Litter Less Campaign: Israel, Romania, France, Portugal, Slovakia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, China, India, and Ireland
* Please note that the submissions under the theme of Litter from Litter Less Campaign countries will be evaluated separately, and the winners will receive recognitions with a certificate.

International Collaboration – open for all countries with 3 recommended themes from 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 11-Sustainable Cities, 12-Responsible consumption & production, 13-Climate action. The submission must be a form of “Article” and a collaborative work between 2 countries, and it is open for the age category 15-18 years old.

More information: http://www.yre.global/

YRE at the International Conference “Transforming Education for Children and Youth”

On 16-18 September 2016, Centre for Environment Education (CEE) India hosted the International Conference entitled “Transforming Education for Children and Youth” in Ahmedabad, India.

During the conference the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme was presented by Gosia Luszczek, YRE International Programme Director, who chaired the session on youth and its role in sustainable education.

The session highlighted the role of education for youth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on good practice examples whilst underlining innovative strategies and methodologies in pedagogy and curriculum in both formal and non-formal settings.

Young reporters from YRE India actively participated in discussions during the conference. In addition, they worked as journalists reporting on all sessions and discussions throughout the CEE Conference and the FEE General Assembly.

The reports written by students are showcased on the YRE Exposure page.

Internship opportunity for the YRE programme

 

YRE International is looking for an intern who will work with us on research and programme development for the YRE programme from this autumn. 

The call is open for students or graduate students with background in pedagogical education, communication, environmental study, or policy studies. It is an offer for unpaid internship.

Read more about the opportunity

If you have any inquiry regarding the call, please contact us at any time. 

We are looking forward to hearing from you!