By Jood Jassim Al Shirawi (student at Bahrain Bayan School – Global High School winners 2018)
When a school board member informed us about the Prize’s Global High Schools Category, I embraced the challenge and jumped at the chance to give back to my community. I felt I could not pass up an opportunity to prove that, although I was still a student, I was ready to apply all my knowledge and make my mark in the growing [sustainability] movement.
In my environmental class at school, we were taught the importance of sustainable practices and innovative technologies that could save our planet. However, while working on our Global High Schools project, I realised we could come up with practical, real life solutions to deal with a variety of ecological and social problems we are facing. Therefore, each member in our Ecobooster team shared their knowledge from their field of study – whether that was chemistry, biology, or environmental – to build a holistic and sustainable model of our cafeteria which includes innovate recycling and energy efficient technologies (the Ecolab360).
The learning curve
While building a creative project in a short amount of time was no easy feat, it really helped me enhance my set of skills when it came to research, problem solving, teamwork and co-operation and time management. Additionally, I learned to find affective and persuasive methods of communicating with our peers in order to educate our school community on the importance of sustainability in everyday life.
What can young people do?
Winning the Zayed Sustainability Prize was undeniably one of the proudest moments of my life; however, this victory is propelling me to work harder on finding more environmental and sustainable solutions. I hope that our efforts bring an end to our generation’s complacency and replace it with a new sustainability movement. In addition, I hope we inspire other young people to be the innovative pioneers who will create a brighter future for us all.