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SWMCOL: Storytelling can recapture lost value of environmental protection

General Manger: David Manswell

Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL) general manager-communication, sales, and marketing David Manswell has praised the Film and Folklore Festival for helping to recapture lost values and promoting the art of storytelling. "Activities such as this one we love supporting because we believe it adds value not just from an environmental standpoint but generally to society. We were so happy when the Film and Folklore Festival contacted us and we were quite interested when we saw they were featuring (local folklore character) Papa Bois. We needed to get on board." Manswell noted as a society certain values "have escaped us". "Simple things like honouring those in authority. Or our watchwords discipline, tolerance, and production. And one thing close to SWMCOL—the simple value of not littering. It has escaped us as a society. Even the message of Papa Bois, who deals with protecting the forest and the environment. It is necessary we recapture these values." Manswell said the festival's message of how we treat the environment was in alignment with SWMCOL's sustainable development goals. "We see it as adding value because it touches on the environment and people aspect, and on how we educate the population about changing behaviours."

He noted SWMCOL was happy this message will be told through the medium of storytelling. "(Attendees) will be taken down the Caroni River and given the opportunity to see how a lack of proper waste management can contribute to harming the environment. It ties in nicely with SWMCOL's goal of sustainable development." Manswell stressed storytelling has a key place in society despite new media and new technology. "Most things we do come from the art of storytelling. And the festival will be crafting a message that is user friendly both to adults and for children. We are so pleased they are doing it in this manner."

He pointed out storytelling transcends generations, and his age bracket would remember being told the story of Papa Bois in primary school. "And for this new generation, the festival's storytelling will highlight the benefit of these characters of days of old. We see it as a good medium for spotlighting the message of sustainability and preserving the environment." SWMCOL is sponsoring the 1-Minute 'Our Stories' challenge and Manswell said the challenge will help to develop the skills of storytellers. "It will give encouragement and motivation and we salute the effort of the winner in advance. We see it as putting down roots that will bring forth fruit in the not too distant future." He said it is quite important to teach children the art of storytelling as it will help in how they communicate, with creative writing, and how to craft narratives going forward. Manswell added the festival will benefit the younger generation as well as promote values.

"We at SWMCOL grasped the opportunity to sponsor the initiative. We see it as a great initiative. And we wish the Film and Folklore Festival much success not only with this venture but with such ventures moving forward."


MAY 20, 2021



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