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Samira Rafaela impressed by Stinapa’s Junior Rangers

Photo credit: Facebook Samira Rafaela

KRALENDIJK – Member of the European Parliament Samira Rafaela (D66) was very impressed with Stinapa’s Junior Ranger program during her working visit to Bonaire, which was dedicated to climate and culture. She explains this in conversation with Bonaire.nu

“I got to know ambitious young people who are committed to the conservation of Bonaire every day. I found it very impressive.” Full of enthusiasm she talks about the young people she met at Stinapa and what their motivations were for participating in the program. 

Youth

“One of them told me that he was a good swimmer from an early age and that he came into contact with scuba diving. The other one is committed to conservation on a technological and abstract level. Another person is much more concerned with plant conservation. So that’s how I’ve seen how they all get involved in climate and nature, each from their own affinity and interests.” 

Rafaela emphasizes that the role of young people is enormously crucial, (especially) also in decision-making. We need to retain this group or at least get it back. “Many young people leave Bonaire for studies and would love to come back and do something for the island,” but then, she says, much more needs to be invested in creating jobs for when they return.

Junior Ranger Program

Stinapa started this pilot program in 2009 and now the program consists of 35 teenagers. The Junior Rangers receive weekly training to learn more about the fragile system of planet earth. They are taught and dive into ethics to protect Bonaire’s precious nature and are trained to be Bonaire’s Nature Ambassadors. They become leaders and role models for other youth and teens with a focus on protecting our home: their future. 

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