Breathe Better Air
Start of A MOVEment
While the Pondfill Dump burned chemical toxic fumes from the overflow of debris leftover from Hurricane Irma, Sara began by raising awareness on Social Media and writing a newspaper article in the Daily Herald. She participated in the School Community Service Fair and persuaded fellow students to join her campaign. After the media awareness campaign, she expanded into a T-Shirt Fundraising Activity where the volunteers sold t-shirts she designed with the Breathe Better Air logo. The fundraiser raised $1000, which the Breathe Better Air Campaign donated to the Nature Foundation. Following this, the campaign then began the important task of surveying the health effect of the burning Dump on the island’s residents. READ ARTICLE
History & Timeline of Campaign
September 2018 - Teen Times releases Article
Sara writes article for Teen Times bringing attention to the Dump Fire predicament and raising awareness for her T-shirt fundraiser
November 2018 - Volunteer Fair - Learning Unlimited School
Sara recruits volunteers at Learning Unlimited School
November 2018 - BBA T-shirt Fundraiser
Sara created The Breathe Better Air T-shirt as a fundraiser
December 2018 - The Survey & Dr. Spencer
Dr. Spencer guided Sara to survey residents on the effects of the fire. Some residents did not want to participate.
September 2019 - Donated $1K to Nature Foundation NGO
BBA T-shirt Fundraiser raised $1000 for Nature Foundation NGO READ MORE
February 2020 - Pondfill Fire Extinguished
The Dump is no longer a national emergency due to survey evidence. READ MORE
WORK WITH DR. SPENCER
Following the campaign’s awareness phase conducted in the media and in person, Sara spoke with Dr. Spencer, who advised her to gather actual data on how the dump was affecting the respiratory system of the people of St. Maarten. Dr. Spencer guided Sara regarding questions to put in an online survey, which she then posted alongside a video of her fellow volunteers. Sara and her volunteers also went to the area where the Dump was burning since people are residing in the immediate vicinity in make-shift homes. The smoke was thickest in this area, the scent unbearable.
This video was made by Sara and her fellow Volunteers to encourage the residents of
St. Maarten to take the Survey.
DUMP FIRES EXTINGUISHED
The Campaign received nearly 200 responses online but had a more challenging time interviewing people near the dump site. Even though the young volunteers were non-threatening, the people living there either did not want to be interviewed or claimed their health was fine and in no way affected by the Dump’s smoke. It became apparent that because of their immigration/socio-economic status, the residents feared losing their homes without being provided an alternative place to live. Soon after Breathe Better Air’s survey appeared online, the St. Maarten government did its survey, READ ARTICLE, and is continuing to look for solutions to relocate the beleaguered residents of the Dump area. READ ARTICLE