TORONTO (May 30, 2007) - Two 15-year-old Indonesian schoolgirls, Wening Pranayadipta and Vania Santoso, have taken first prize at the Volvo Adventure International Final, in Göteborg, Sweden, over the weekend. Out of the 365 projects from 47 different countries, the team called the "Bright Youngsters" took the US$10,000 first prize for their project "Useful Waste for a Better Future." In second place, the "Green Teens" of New Zealand, won US$6,000 for their "Plastic Not So Fantastic" project, and South Africa's "Facing Up" team took the third prize of US$4,000 for their "EnergyWise" campaign.
"Whilst it was a stain on Indonesia's reputation being branded the dirtiest nation in the world by WHO," said Santoso, "it was also a wake-up call that something had to be done and in our small way, we may have helped both change perceptions and improve our local environment and economy."
"It has been an amazing experience coming to Gothenburg," said Pranayadipta, "and being encouraged by how many other students are as passionate about the environment as we are and it is a great honour to win, especially against so many other powerful projects."
The winning entry is a project that not only removes rubbish but also recycles it into sustainable souvenirs and gifts with the additional advantage of adding value and helping overcome poverty.
"The standard goes up and up each and every year," said Theodore Oben of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the official Volvo Adventure partner. "‘Useful Waste for a Better Future' is a project that works on many environmental levels, waste reduction, recycling and revenue-earning and as such, it was the outstanding project amongst 15 excellent finalists."
A group of students from New Brunswick were also chosen to make the trip to the Volvo Adventure final and represent Canada. The Children's International Summer Villages (CISV) - Eco Group, made up of team leader Ralph Simpson, along with sons Patrick and Jack Simpson, Tyler Allison, Alex Vietinghoff and Ben Wallace, presented their biodiversity project called "Saving a species at risk." They instigated the replanting of 300 Bur Oak trees, a species native to Fredericton, recently recognized as at risk of extinction.
"The Volvo Adventure program has become a fixture in the environmental calendar and a key component in expressing Volvo's passion for and commitment to the environment," said Kikki Hugestrand, Volvo Adventure Project Manager, "whilst for the students, it is an educational, environmental and cultural experience that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives."
Projects are already underway all round the world for the seventh annual Volvo Adventure and the closing date for entries is 31st January 2008.
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company's product range includes the elegant C70 hardtop convertible, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sport sedan, the compact and sporty S40 and V50, and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2007, the company is introducing two new models: the redesigned S80 luxury flagship sedan and the stylish and sporty C30.
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