Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has praised 11-year-old award-winning filmmaker of Little Thoughts on Big Matters, Maria Marshall, for her activist role in protecting the environment.
Maria met with Ms. Mottley today at Ilaro Court, where they discussed a range of topics and the first form student at Harrison College outlined her plans for the future. Also present was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Culture, John King.
The Prime Minister said: “We want you to help fight climate change because when all of us may be gone, it is you, your generation and your children that are going to have to be fighting its consequences. And so, the first thing we have to do is to educate people at all ages, and that’s what you are helping us to do.”
Maria produced the video Little Thoughts on Big Matters in which she encourages persons to reduce, reuse, recycle and repair.
She is the UNDP Small Island Future Fest 2019 video winner and the recipient of a 2019 NIFCA award for the production. In addition, Maria was interviewed earlier this week by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Orlando Bloom, ahead of Universal Children’s Day, which is observed on November 20.
Ms. Mottley congratulated her on “an excellent” interview and encouraged her to view the world as her oyster.
“I genuinely mean that because you have what we didn’t have when we were growing up – the power of the Internet. You have the power to reach people in Australia, Africa and Asia, just with your message.
“One of the things that we’ve always said about Barbados is don’t mind how small we are; we punch above our weight…. So, don’t mind how small you are, you continue to punch above your weight,” she told the engaging young girl.
As they interacted, the Prime Minister commended Maria’s “generosity of spirit” and encouraged her not to lose that quality, but continue to give of herself and treat people well.
Maria said she was inspired to produce the video when she saw someone incorrectly disposing trash. “I thought to myself, why? I need to tell people to stop this because this could severely damage our environment,” she stated.
She added that she plans to produce a video on the ocean as she underscored its importance, saying people need to protect it and the reefs.
Ms. Mottley interjected and stressed the importance of the ocean, saying that was the reason why she created a Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy.
She promised that she would allow Maria to have an audience with Minister Kirk Humphrey so she and other children could share their thoughts with him.
Maria, who wants to be a prosthetics doctor, said she would love to create a club at school where children would be able to share ideas so more messages could be disseminated on different issues.
At the end, the Prime Minister presented Maria with a gift and hand written note, as her proud parents, Neil and Sarah Marshall, looked on.