Verdala International School raises €1220 for turtles
Verdala International School students have raised €1220 in a campaign to help injured turtles be rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
Funds will go towards medication costs for the injured turtles and to help Nature Trust (Malta) raise enough funds to set up the first wildlife rehabilitation centre in Malta at the Xrobb L-Ghagin Park. This centre will be set up with the latest standards set by the EU to cater for injured local wildlife such a marine turtles, hedgehogs, bats etc. The centre will increase the present capacity from 12 tanks to 30 tanks for turtles thus allowing more injured turtles to be rehabilitated at one time. NTM is also aiming at setting the centre up to be used as an emergency centre for wildlife in case of an oil spill disaster.
Nature Trust (Malta) Executive President Vincent Attard, thanked the students and the school staff for their initiative to support injured turtles.
Mr Attard said that the turtles have been present on the planet for millions of years - well before mankind appeared, but now due to human impact, pollution and climate change, the marine turtle is today an endangered species. Many turtles are rescued each year suffering from hooks or fishing line ingestion, propeller hits, entanglement in plastic waste found in the sea, and other problems. He also commented on the school environmental commitment as the school runs an environmental club "Project Earth", run by a Verdala mother Alexandra White who introduced NTM to the school. The club teaches children environmental awareness and supports environmental initiatives both locally and globally.
Verdala's Project Earth club also has an organic garden where the children are encouraged to grow local vegetables. Mrs White said; "we have a dedicated group of children who enjoy gardening and have found out they have green fingers! Watching the magic of nature happening in front of their eyes has been most rewarding. This all started when my daughter Holly White, a
Verdala student, was concerned about the amount of plastic on our beaches and how we humans were destroying the planet. She approached the Middle school head and asked if she could form an environmental group where children could have their say and make a difference and perhaps an area to grow their own vegetables - the rest is history."
The club is well supported by parents who have joined in on clean up days, walking to raise money or helping out with planting and digging. The international community of Verdala International school, Pembroke are grateful to the beautiful island of Malta for hosting them all and wish to give back to the island."
Middle School Principal Noel Buttigieg said that it is part of the school’s ethos to promote such initiatives since these highlight the hidden aspects of the curriculum while promoting respect towards Malta.
The students where then presented with adoption certificates for five turtles in the centre.