Lively District Secondary School student Alek Luopa and vice-principal David Wiwchar recently received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals.
Diamond Jubilee medals are presented to Canadians who make a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada.
Luopa and Wiwchar led a team from Rainbow schools who travelled to Costa Rica to install solar panels from April 20-30 this year.
The humanitarian effort has brought light to more than 850 households since 2004. Luopa’s medal was presented to him for community work that included the Light Up Costa Rica Project. David Wiwchar’s medal was presented to him for his leadership and longtime contribution to the initiative.
“We are proud of Alek Luopa and David Wiwchar for their outstanding achievement,” said Rainbow District School Board chair Doreen Dewar in a press release.
“They are excellent role models for global citizenship who continue to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Many students from Rainbow schools have experienced the rewards of humanitarian service by participating in the Light Up Costa Rica initiative which is now being expanded across Canada.”
Wiwchar has been leading excursions to Costa Rica for the past eight years.
“To date, students from Rainbow schools and implementing partners in Costa Rica have carried out installations with enough panels to reach approximately 20 per cent of the rural Indigenous population that are living without electricity in Costa Rica.”
School boards from across Canada are being invited to participate in the “Light Up The World” project next year. EF Educational Tours is providing travel arrangements for an Earth Day Environmental Conference for Youth in Costa Rica in April 2013.
The Environmental Conference will feature keynote addresses by Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Nobel Prize winners Al Gore and Oscar Arias. Students are invited to visit www.eftours.ca/greentours for details on how they can join the excursion.
“We would like to thank all those who have donated funds for the purchase of panels through students out canvassing or by contributing through the www.lutw.org website over the years,” David Wiwchar said. “We look forward to many more students from across Canada joining us in this humanitarian effort for the first time next year.”
For more information, visit www.lutw.org/costa/rica.