Three years ago when introducing the Eco-Schools Programme to Lotus High School our Eco-Schools officer, Taryn, met a very environmentally conscious young student, Curtley Fortune. He has been part of the Eco-club since Grade 8, up until Grade 12 this year and would like to continue on to a career in conservation. This is his personal Story of Change:

My name is Curtley fortune I wasn’t raised in a big house in Camps Bay with four to five bedrooms and a master bedroom. No, I am a young boy who comes out of the Cape Flats with no real people to look up to, no-one who will motivate me into becoming a potential leader but that didn’t stop me from becoming an environmentalist if God’s grace and mercy allows me.

I find it fascinating what the environment is able to do for us, like helping us with medication and just generally being beautiful. I want to preserve this benefit for the future so they too are able to see the beauties of this world. It helps keep me out of things that would be a negative to my life. Our environment is one of the greatest examples we have of God’s power. The word environment includes all of God’s most beautiful and awesome works. The environment is his creation, a precious and holy resource with which he entrusted all humans the loving care and wise use of. God asked all humans to be stewards of the environment. And this also increased my behaviour and my interest to follow the ways of an environmental overseer.

I’ve been on many activities through the environmental club. Such as going on free camps, hiking, drawing, sculpting, recycling, planting trees and planting plants. I was also introduced to CTEET through the environmental club and they also introduced me to a variety of activities all related to the nature conservation and overall about the environment.

Technically the person who inspired me was Mr Shafiek Isaacs at Lotus High School. My biology teacher introduced me to nature and all its benefits to the world. He showed me that there are still people in the world who care for the environment and for its well-being. He also taught me my life skills that I could use in the future. He even helped me when I was at my worst and he made me even happier when I was happy. He brought a new light of hope by showing me that if there is at least one person who cares about the environment then the environment would be in good hands and will never be destroyed.

And in the future I would most definitely like to enter the environmental world. I would really like to study nature conservation and become an environmental ranger or work with the animals and the plants too, as well as to work myself up into to the ranks of even becoming the owner of the park if God allows me.

And in closing when learning about the environment’s declining health it is easy to feel discouraged, but what keeps us fighting for a healthy world is the future of our children. They should not have to inherit our environmental problems and in order to keep their future bright, spreading awareness is imperative and that’s why I want to make my stand and join the environment and all the activities in the environment.