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News Last Updated: Nov 7, 2018 - 1:20:29 PM

Environment Minister Romi Ferreira Hits Airwaves to Hit Ground Running for #Be A Hero Campaign
By Diane Philips & Associates
Nov 7, 2018 - 9:00:08 AM

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Morning Boil – Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld ‘Romi’ Ferreira kicked off the #Be A Hero campaign with a round of radio appearances including one on Island FM’s popular morning show, Morning Boil. The Minister and co-hosts Catherine Chisnall and Eddie Carter got into the spirit donning super hero capes to encourage schools to get involved, choose a project, post images and messages on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter to win the six-month competition demonstrating how they are doing their part to create a cleaner, safer Bahamas.

Environment and Housing Minister Romauld ‘Romi’ Ferreira hit the airwaves from one end of the dial to the other like a sprinter with a microphone to spread the message of getting involved in the #Be A Hero campaign – a program aimed at instilling a renewed sense of pride in surroundings and respect for the environment by involving every student in primary and junior high school in New Providence.

The Cabinet minister on a mission has been interviewed on Guardian Talk Radio’s Connected Show twice. He’s done Morning Boil with Eddie Carter, 100 JAMZ, and Morning Blend with Dwight Strachan. He’s done TV interviews and has committed to 12 school visits in person.

“This campaign, #Be A Hero, is so important. It is the second phase of our determined effort to make The Bahamas the beautiful, clean, green and safe place it can be,” he said.

According to the Minister, the first phase began in October 2017 with sweeping clean-up campaigns that cost the people of The Bahamas about $100,000 a day.

Morning Blend – Dwight Strachan, Guardian Talk Radio’s popular early morning host, far left, and co-host Pamela Musgrove, far right, don super heroes’ capes to show support for the #Be A Hero campaign launched earlier this month. With more than 10 corporate sponsors including AML (Solomon’s), Atlantis, Bahamas Hot Mix, Bahamas Waste Management, Bahamas Wholesale Agency, Commonwealth Brewery, Kelly’s, McDonald’s, Seaside Media, The Sign Man, The Tribune and ZNS, the campaign drives students to become social media stars by choosing a project at their school or in their community, posting progress and showing success. At the end of six months, the winning classes’ images will replace sports, entertainment and civic images as the nation’s heroes for making their communities clean, green and pristine. Minister of Environment and Housing Romi Ferreira, 2nd from right, is also joined by Diane Phillips, whose agency partnered with Barefoot Marketing, Grand Bahama to develop the kid-friendly campaign and raise sponsorship funds to support it.

“It was necessary to kick-start a cleaner environment campaign, but that kind of approach is not sustainable,” said Ferreira. “What we needed to do was change the mind-set, change the culture and to do that, we wanted to start with the youth. They are the future of The Bahamas and we not only wanted to impress upon them the need to respect their surroundings but we knew the influence they have over their parents and the elders around them.”

The second phase kicked off earlier this month when #Be A Hero was launched at a packed press conference hosted by Atlantis, one of the campaign’s 10 corporate sponsors.

“By engaging kids in their classrooms and in their schools to take on a project and post the progress on social media, we are making the #Be A Hero campaign fun. At the end of six months, the students, classes and schools that have performed the best work and made the most significant difference in whatever project they decide to take on will become our heroes,” said Ferreira. At that time, their images will replace the photos of their heroes leading the campaign, athletes like basketball star Jonquel Jones, who advises, ‘Slam dunk the Junk’, and Olympic gold medalist Chris ‘Fireman Brown whose mantra is ‘Pick up the pace and clean up the place.’

Hello, heroes -- More Minister of Housing & Environment Romauld ‘Romi’ Ferreira with Sarah Kirkby of Barefoot Marketing on Island FM’s Morning Boil, one of many radio interviews the Cabinet minister is doing to spread the #Be A Hero campaign message. The program aimed at instilling a sense of pride in surroundings and personal responsibility for environment was launched to appeal to students throughout New Providence two weeks ago and is gaining ‘extraordinary’ traction on social media.

According to Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Environment and Housing Kendria Ferguson, students can plant a vegetable garden, clean up a nearby park, raise funds to purchase more trash receptacles or find creative ways to ban single use plastics on their school grounds. Options are endless.

“This campaign is all about respect for the environment and the environment is everywhere, it is tied into everything, the air we breathe, the water we drink or bathe in, the weather we experience, what we see and feel all around us,” said Ferreira.

“There was a time when environment was largely related to health. That’s why it started with the Department of Environmental Health. Today, it is so much more – it is the fuels that we use to power everything in our lives. It’s climate change. It’s the fresh water lens and the aquifer. But very important, it is how we treat our surroundings, the respect we show and we know if we are going to change the mindset so that people stop thinking it is okay to abandon a vehicle because there are no consequences, we have to change the culture by starting with the kids.”

Connected – Environment and Housing Minister Romi Ferreira makes the radio rounds, connecting with 96.9 Guardian Talk Radio co-host of Lester R Cox Connected in the 9 am hour to spread the message of what it takes to be an environmental hero. Pictured l to r, Abaco Neem farmer Daphne DeGregory, host Diane Phillips (partially hidden by microphone) and Minister Ferreira.

The campaign, created by Barefoot Marketing and Diane Phillips & Associates, is funded almost entirely through corporate sponsorship. Among the sponsors are Atlantis, AML (Solomon’s), Bahamas Hot Mix, Bahamas Waste Management, Bahamas Wholesale Agencies, Commonwealth Brewery, Kelly’s, McDonald’s, Subway, Seaside Media, The Sign Man and The Tribune, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and ZNS. In addition, the Ministry of Education paved the way for school participation.

“We wanted to identify icons that school kids would look up to so we were really fortunate that people like Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Wendy and Dyson Knight and the 100JAMZ Dynasty Deejay Crew and Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie and Jonquel Jones and Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown saw the value and came onboard,” the agencies said. “Every component of the program has been a partnership and there is power in the message when you have so many people believing in it and buying into its value. The Bahamas is a naturally beautiful place. All we want to do is remind people it is everyone’s individual responsibility to keep it that way and by doing so, they also make their environment safer.”

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