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And the Winners Are...

If anything, COVID-19 teaches us to respect nature more. As the travel industry grapples with how to recover from the standstill caused by the pandemic, ecotourism is no doubt going to be the key moving forward to allow us to continue exploring the world, enable developing countries to continue growing their economy and protecting their environment.

More than a month ago, dozens of students conquered cultural and language barriers, working across the time zones and schedules, debated, collaborated and compromised. Those who worked the hardest were recognized yesterday.

Pioneer Award: Throughout the Forum, our team coaches, Keeret Grewal (Wilfred Laurier University in Canada), Bogna Frykowska (Forward University in Portugal) and Mia Filipetti (the University of Waterloo in Canada) have been checking in on all the teams to help them reach the finish line. Through these interactions, the coaches have noticed a few students in particular who have demonstrated amazing leadership skills. The Pioneer Award Nominees will be invited to apply and establish BWB Clubs in their schools to lead local actions and meet global goals. The winners will be awarded scholarships to launch their clubs:

  • Winner: Yulia Kiryukhina from Russia - International School of Riga, Latvia

  • Winner: Ohemaa Asibuo from Ghana - Tema International School, Ghana

  • Aanya Sharma from India - Prometheus School Noida, India

  • Ahana Joshi from India - Pathways School Noida, India

  • Andrea Koleva from Macedonia - Nova International Schools, Macedonia

  • Benjamin Kim from USA - AICS, Netherlands

  • Bianca Bonali from Italy - American School of Milan, Italy

  • Bryanna Ashong from the UK - Bryanston School, UK

  • Camila Valda Estremadoyro from Bolivia - Saint Andrew´s School, Bolivia

  • Cheng Wei Hung from Taiwan - Tsai Hsing High School, Taiwan, ROC

  • Domenico Raia from Italy - Colegio Los Sauces, Spain

  • Jona Kurtishi from Macedonia - NOVA International Schools, Macedonia

  • Lara Stas from the Netherlands - AICS, Netherlands

  • Lina Nikolovska from Macedonia - Nova International Schools, Macedonia

  • Marina Ruiz from Spain - Colegio Los Sauces, Spain

  • Paskalis Leonardus from Indonesia - Sekolah Mutiara Nusantara, Indonesia

  • Shreya Patil from India - AICS, the Netherlands

Best Team Award is created to celebrate the team that has the most creative idea that is also the most sustainable and fair. All participants voted for their favorite teams and the top proposals were submitted to the Panelists for judging. We also invited the general public to vote for their favorite proposal in our Global Community - please feel free to click on the link and see their ideas:

  • Winner: Team Goa Green - Representing India

  • Runner up AND the team that has received the most votes from the general public in the People’s Choice category: Team Red Colobus - Representing Zanzibar

  • Third place: Team Tree Plus One - Representing Nepal

Best Representative Award is created to recognize the participants who have gone extra miles to research and share their findings. Based on the total personal points, team points and the final ranking, we have identified the top five finishers who have demonstrated a level of diligence that is truly remarkable. The Top Five finishers will receive a consultation session with Buddies Without Borders board of director Mr. Andrew Hand:

  • Winner: Bryanna Ashong from the UK - Bryanston School, UK

  • Aanya Sharma Prometheus School Noida in India

  • Andrea Koleva Nova International Schools in Macedonia

  • Lina Nikolovska Nova International Schools in Macedonia

  • Yulia Kiryukhina International School of Riga in Latvia

The Best Representative and the Best Team will join the other Buddies Without Borders winners to embark on year-long internships organized by Leadership Initiatives in the school year 2022-2023. A HUGE thank you to all our Panelists, Workshop Leaders, Speakers, Sponsors and Counselors! This Forum was judged by the following international educators:

  • From Brazil, Joao Paulo Schlittler PDH, Associate Professor of Film, Radio and Television, in the School of Communication and Arts, University of Sao Paulo

  • From New Zealand, Jacklyn Lim, Learning Abroad Manager, Auckland University of Technology

  • From UAE, Ango Mwakisu, Senior Assistant Director of International Admissions, New York University

  • From Spain, Elisa Melendez Martin Global Markets Director, IE University

  • From Taiwan, Dr. Victor Tao, Chairman of Green Tourism Association

  • From the UK, Helen Peeks, the Advisory Director of Zanzibar Butterfly Centre and the Project Manager at Chumbe Island Coral Park.

  • From Costa Rica, Dr. Alejandra Barahona, Executive Director of Center for International Programs & Sustainability Studies at the Veritas University

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