To raise awareness of Land Based Sources of pollution and its effects on the environment, UNEP launched a Collage Competition in February 2011. The competition expands over the wider Caribbean Sea and encourages children and youth from 12 to 18 that are part of youth organizations or clubs to make a collage that displays the problems with marine litter. As the competition was coming to its final stage, I was asked to contact all our partners on the other islands, and make an overview report of how the competition is going. I asked if they had any question or need any further assistance. I was also responsible for ensuring that the finale collages were sent to our office.
Each country had to pick a national winner and then send the finale collage to our office. For the Jamaica national judging I was assisting Tess (the CETA Programme Officer) in organizing the event. For last year’s painting competition, three people of different artistic professions were chosen as judges. However, this year we decided to do it a bit differently. It just so happened that The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) were having their annual meeting in Jamaica the same week we were hosting the judging and they had asked to come visit our office to learn more about the organization. So we decided to ask them if they wanted to judge the national competition as they would have a neutral position. CYEN was happy to do it, and thus I began to prepare the event. For the conference, all the programme officers prepared a power-point presentation on what they were working on. Tess asked me to do one for CETA. The idea of having to present on one of the programmes was kind of nerve-wracking, however it was a very good learning experience and a good way to consolidate what I had leaned throughout my internship. Preparing the CYEN visit, coordinating with all the participants and preparing the material was a great opportunity for me to practice being in charge of an event in the organization.
Despite a few complications, like for example that the AC was shut off for the event, the presentations went great and the judging resulted in three well deserved price winners.
Having the responsibility of organizing the CYEN visit and the judging of the collage competition was a demanding task. Also doing a presentation on CETA was a nerve-wracking experience as I am not an expert at the subject, but it was a very good experience to have.
Lessons learned: I have learned more about putting together and planning an event, coordinating with several different people. I have also gotten a valuable experience in presenting in front of a crowd.