When she started working for the Miss Earth organisation over five years ago, Mrs Ealla Bella Constantinides – Leite had no idea that her work would give birth to an even greater cause.
The Bedfordview resident is the founder of Generation Earth, an organisation that raises awareness on climate change.
The NEWS caught up with Mrs Constantinides – Leite, who shared her passion for the environment.
She said while on a trip overseas, working on one of Miss Earth’s projects, she found herself thinking of ways to bring the younger generation into the fight to save the planet.
Enter the birth of Generation Earth.
“With Miss Earth we often worked with schools on certain projects and after seeing how enthusiastic the children were, I wanted something that would involve them more. A platform that would allow them to engage and learn,” said Mrs Constantinides – Leite.
She said after staring the organisation, she had to hit the ground running.
“Our launch coincided with the Cop 17 conference that was taking place in Durban and we had to host about 500 school pupils at the conference. We have not looked back since,” said Mrs Constantinides – Leite.
For the year 2009, Mrs Constantinides – Leite was the South African youth ambassador to the United Nations (UN).
“With Generation Earth, I want to help build leaders who will one day take part in the green economy because if we don’t teach them about it, they will not want jobs in the green economy,” said Mrs Constantinides – Leite.
She said although member schools are mainly private schools in suburban areas, the organisation finds ways to develop and empower children from poor communities.
“What we have done is to get our private schools to involve their sister schools in the councils. They also attend our workshops and engage with the pupils of Generation Earth at large,” she said.
Mrs Constantinides – Leite said in her spare time she loves to play squash with her husband.