Japanese students visiting Malta as part of an educational and cultural school trip have participated in a tree-planting activity at Birżebbuġa’s Ġnien San Ġorġ.
Kindai High School in Osaka, Japan, through their agent Nexsis Japan, have been organising annual trips to Malta since 2004 as part of an educational partnership with EC English Language School and Saint Martin’s College, Swatar.
Through this programme, Japanese students are able to attend English language lessons organised by EC School, while also taking part in cultural integration classes with local students at St Martin’s College.
The students were welcomed by Project Green CEO Steve Ellul and Birżebbuġa mayor Scott Camilleri and vice-mayor Josepha Busuttil.
Addressing the international guests, Ellul explained the importance of young people taking an active role to safeguard the natural environment for future generations. He also commended this initiative as he stressed on how exchanges like these are beneficial for society as they give a better insight to the participants and locals about various cultural differences leading to a more inclusive society. Ellul expressed his gratitude towards Kindai High School in Osaka together with EC and Saint Martin’s College for choosing an environmental initiative to leave a positive mark.
Over the years, students from Kindai and EC have planted over 300 indigenous and endemic Maltese trees and shrubs. This time, the students planted a number of African tamarisk (Bruka) trees and chaste trees (Ghadib), both of which are indigenous to the Maltese islands and typically grow along coastal areas.
“We recognise that international student mobility can have a costly impact on the environment especially due to the long distances that most of our students travel to reach our destinations, which is why we encourage students to give back more to the local community than they take,” EC Study Tours manager Luke Bonello said.
He also explained that this tree-planting initiative supports the language school’s wider vision of sustainability, saying that “we’re combatting single-use plastic by ensuring that every young learner receives a reusable water bottle which can be filled at our centres, and we’re adopting, wherever possible, digital-first approaches. Our operations in North America have gone completely paperless”.
This Earth Day, marked on March 25, EC will be organising a global clean-up, where all their schools around the world will be participating by visiting public spaces and removing waste and debris.
Read more Child stories here.