Cop17: St Martin De Porres pupil chosen for children’s voices conference

2011-11-29 00:00

NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Melikhaya Kibi of St Martin De Porres School in Port Shepstone is one of 50 pupils chosen from South Africa to attend COP17.

The deaf grade 10 pupil is participating in the South African Children’s Voices in COP17’s mini-conference, which is part of the bigger conference.

It is facilitated by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

Kibi qualified as a delegate after winning a provincial deaf schools speech contest organised by the KwaZulu-Natal Deaf Association earlier this month.

He presented his topic, Climate Change Prevention, on Saturday.

Teachers Smangele Mthethwa and Peggy Shaba helped prep Kibi and Sister Carol Staff voiced his speech.

His principal, K. Nair, said, “He was so excited when he left on Friday. We hardly get to speak to him because the security is so tight. He was just over the moon when he heard Angelina Jolie was going to be there.”

The pupils will interact with one another and share their thoughts on various issues surrounding climate change.

They will also be attending a few gala events and field visits in the course of the week.

“We are very happy that children with disabilities were included in this conference. They are a part of the real world and these issues effect them just like everyone else. It is excellent that they are recognised,” Nair said.

Kibi is originally from Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape and is living in Port Shepstone to attend the special needs school.

Nair added, “We are extremely proud of him for this achievement.

“He is representing not only our school but our country at such a prestigious event.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for a very deserved learner.”

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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