Lefaga College of Samoa won the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Schools Challenge in 2016 with a poster encouraging people to help stop the spread of invasive species. It was this same winning entry that was revealed in a billboard on Friday 27 July, with a special ceremony at Lefaga College.
Students gathered with members of the school committee and the staff of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at the school for a special ceremony presenting the billboard to the school as part of the commemoration of SPREP’s 25 Year anniversary.
“We are thankful for this billboard that showcases our winning entry in the Schools Challenge. We were pleased to win the competition and the prize money, but this billboard is a momentum that shows all our winning entry,” said Ms Makereta Leiataua the Principal of Lefaga College.
“It’s a proud moment for our students especially that we, a small school from a village from Samoa, have won a competition that saw entries from many different schools across the Pacific islands region.”
To commemorate the 25 years of SPREP, the blowing of candles and cake were also part of the festivities. The school received a resource package from SPREP, and also took part in a special photo shoot by drone.
This was also an opportunity to learn more about invasive species, the feature of the billboard that now features prominently in the village.
“We were impressed by Lefaga College and their entry, as were our judging panel that selected them as winners. We would like to thank the school for their artwork, and their endeavour to keep their village free of invasive species,” said Mr David Moverley, Invasive Species Advisor of SPREP.
Lefaga College was one of the schools that entered in the Samoa National Invasive Species Schools Challenge coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa with SPREP, the Samoan Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, ANZ Samoa, Global Environment Facility and UN Environment in 2016. Winning the secondary school category, their submission was then entered into the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Schools Challenge in which they won USD 800 taking out first place.
Part of their prize as first place winners involved the establishment of a billboard showcasing their entry.