77 schools awarded for connecting children with nature

November 16, 2023 3:48 pm

A total of 77 schools across Malta and Gozo celebrated their outstanding achievements in connecting children with nature through BirdLife Malta’s Dinja Waħda environmental education programme which is spread across all year groups from Kinder to Secondary students.

BirdLife Malta’s Dinja Waħda 2023 Awards Ceremony held at Xara Lodge

The Dinja Waħda 2023 Awards Ceremony, celebrating the success of the 2022/2023 scholastic year, took place at The Minstrel’s Hall, Xara Lodge, Rabat, earlier today.

In the Primary sector 53 schools received the Gold Award, six schools received the Silver Award, three schools were awarded with Bronze, and 11 schools received a Certificate. Three new schools received the Blue Banner, an award for schools that maintain the Gold Award for three consecutive years. In the Secondary sector three schools received the Gold Award, and one school the Bronze Award.

During the scholastic year 2022/2023 our education team happily welcomed 5,652 students at Simar, Foresta 2000, Għadira and Salina Nature Reserves for guided field visits. We were also happy to see that 37 schools reported activities and exciting feedback from our newest Dinja Waħda Action Guide.

This morning’s ceremony also marked the launch of a new scholastic year of engagement (2023/2024)  fully transitioning to the Dinja Waħda new Action Guide, which forms part of BirdLife Malta’s commitment to protect wildlife and its habitats through nature-based learning activities. The programme is run in collaboration with the Directorate for Learning & Assessment Programmes and  is supported by our partners in education, Bank of Valletta.

Another highlight of today’s event was the sharing of the latest updates in regard to the Ġonna Dinja Waħda scheme, which saw green spaces in schools turned into wildlife magnets through support from BirdLife Malta. This year, seven Dinja Waħda Gardens have had additional support from a new maintenance team funded by the Enviroment and Resources Authority (ERA).

The awards during the ceremony were presented to schools by BirdLife Malta President Darryl Grima and Francesco Grech from the CSR team within Bank of Valletta (BOV). Charles Azzopardi, Head of CSR & Communication at BOV and BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana were in attendance.

Commenting about this year’s awards, BirdLife Malta Education Manager Stefania Papadopol said: “It is such an honour to work with so many dedicated schools. It gives hope to hear and see children enjoying and learning about nature and most importantly, taking steps to bring nature back to schools. Hope is important in such times when our natural environment is facing so many challenges, yet teachers and students manage to show us that change is possible.”   

BirdLife Malta would like to congratulate all the participating schools for their hard work this year as well as give a special thanks to the Dinja Waħda coordinators who ensure the running of the programme in their school and support the teachers voluntarily. Without these coordinators, children would not be able to develop the skills, knowledge, and values to protect the environment promoted through the Dinja Waħda programme.

We would also like to thank BOV for its continuous support as the programme’s educational partner and official sponsor and ERA for its commitment with Ġonna Dinja Waħda.

Read the Maltese version of the press release here.

A selection of pictures from the Dinja Waħda 2023 Awards ceremony (All photos by Antoine Monnier and Murat Gelir)
Watch the Dinja Waħda 2023 Awards video here!