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A Papuan chief meets Monaco schoolchildren



As part of the visit to the Principality of Monaco by five representatives of indigenous peoples for the first international conference of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's Forests and Communities initiative, the Foundation and the Direction de l’Éducation Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports organised a meeting in schools.

On Tuesday 21 November, Papuan leader Mundiya Kepanga, accompanied by his translator, photographer and film-maker Marc Dozier, was welcomed to Saint-Charles school to meet young CM1-CM2 pupils. Two sessions took place, the first with two classes from the École des Révoires, the second with two classes from the École Saint-Charles.

Mundiya spoke to the children about his native country, Papua New Guinea, its primary forests with their exceptional biodiversity and the importance of preserving this environment, which guarantees the health of our planet. The Papuan chief, wearing the headdress of his tribe, the Hulis, showed the pupils some traditional ornaments and objects. Short extracts from the documentary film Frères des arbres (2017) were also screened, showing the variety of animals in this part of the world and tackling the problem of deforestation.

Mundiya Kepanga is determined to meet the public, share his vision of the world and pass on his message of tolerance and respect for the environment. And he succeeded in achieving his goal in Monaco, where his warm words attracted the interest of schoolchildren and teachers, who will no doubt remember this unique encounter for a long time to come.