Introduced in Kiribati in December 2020, the PTWAI workshop was delivered virtually to 30 participants via a series of pre-recorded instructional videos and live interactive sessions.
Guided by SPTO Creative Consultant, Warwick Marlow, the participants learnt how to make jewellery and other items from PET plastic bottles collected from surrounding environs.
The PTWAI aims to be all- encompassing in relation to workshop participants with a particular focus on women, youth, people with disabilities, artisans, members of the LGBTQI community and so forth. Moreover, in light of COVID-19, participants from tourism reliant communities and former tourism workers are also being encouraged to participate.
The i-Kiribati participants, who came from a wide range of backgrounds with varying skill sets, were very impressive in terms of the speed at which they picked up on the techniques being taught and the creative manner in which they incorporated the new skills with existing cultural techniques.
For many of the participants, the opportunity to repurpose plastic waste to develop new skills, generate an income and contribute to waste reduction in their communities was an empowering and much appreciated initiative.
Local artisan and workshop participant, Atinta Kaea, explained that the workshop inspired her to be more creative with the handicrafts that she makes.
“Having completed the workshop, I have new ideas about how to improve the products that I usually make by incorporating the new skills I have learnt”, she said.
The workshop also provided an important partnership opportunity for the Tourism Authority of Kiribati to work with the Kiribati Environment Conservation Division in reducing the challenges presented by plastic waste.
PTWAI is part of a joint programme on capacity building for small island states, between Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and SPTO.
The trainings will also be delivered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in March, followed by Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia in April.
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