Georgetown – Program Managers for the “Guyana Shines: Keep Guyana Beautiful” project – Orin Phillips and Dexter Gonsalves – participated in the 2015 Keep America Beautiful (KAB) National Conference in Washington, D.C. from January 27 -29, 2015. During the conference presenters, equipped with new ideas and proven solutions to challenging community problems, sought to provoke new ways of thinking mixed with grassroots activism to empower and engage community leaders toward positive solutions.
The Guyanese representatives, along with over 300 other candidates from affiliate organizations across the United States, examined ways of bringing communities together for disaster preparedness across all denominations, ethnic groups, cultures, and community organizations; engaging youth within their volunteer base through hands-on and community based service learning; increasing recycling in the workplace; and the role of KAB affiliates in behavioral changes within their communities.
Unified by their environmental passion, the participants also discussed the negative environmental, social and economic consequences of roadside litter and explored partnerships to strengthen and build relationships as well as shared creative campaigns and educational initiatives for safe and accident free roads.
Inspired by new ideas introduced at the conference, the program managers plan to apply lessons learned to Guyana Shines. The project will continue until June 2015 with focused messaging on the environment through “education” and “action” elements. These will include a series of environmental workshops for civil society and private sector partners, training and collaboration with schools and environmental clubs, impactful and memorable radio and TV public service announcements; the creation of protected green spaces, and weekly clean-ups.
Mr. Phillips and Mr. Gonsalves also met with U.S. Department of State officials in Washington, D.C. to share the successes and challenges of Guyana Shines. Their participation at the conference was made possible by the U.S.Department of State and Keep America Beautiful, Inc.