Global award in honour of UAE founding father’s humanitarian vision to donate 10,000 lanterns across five countries in one month
Abu Dhabi, UAE: 10th December 2018: Following its successful launch, in the Kingdom of Bahrain on 5th December, the Zayed Sustainability Prize’s “Guiding Light” campaign arrived in Bolivia, on Thursday, with the donation of 2,000 solar lanterns made to off-grid communities, in the Municipality of San Juan, following the light up event.
The second part of the Prize’s one-month, five-country global campaign, which runs 5th December through 9th January, the campaign is inspired by the sustainability and humanitarian vision of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
At the Guiding Light event, held at the Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazon 4 school, in San Juan, the 2017 Global High Schools category Prize Winner was the organiser on the ground and oversaw the construction of a 20x20 metre light installation, using solar-powered lanterns, arranged to reveal the Zayed Sustainability Prize logo.
Following the impressive light installation, occurring just after sunset, the solar lanterns were distributed to young students and mothers of families, across the Municipality of San Juan, many of whom have either no access or extremely limited access to on-grid energy.
The Guiding Light is a global campaign and has organised five events across the world, over the next month. They are in Bahrain (5th December); Bolivia (6th December); Bangladesh (18th December); Kenya (6th January); and, finally, the United Arab Emirates (9th January).
The Zayed Sustainability Prize light installation was made possible through its partnership with Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazon 4, representative of the school and former Mayor of San Juan, Mr. Katsumi Bani, School Director, Ms. Mercedes Almendras, and the incumbent Mayor of San Juan, Ms. Blanca Salvatierra.
Commenting on the Guiding Light campaign’s Bolivian event, Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “Following the successful launch event, in Bahrain, we have been extremely encouraged by the effect of the Guiding Light’s global campaign. Within just 24 hours of the light installation event, in Bolivia, 2,000 solar-powered lanterns were distributed to households and communities across the Municipality, creating an immediate impact on thousands of lives. The campaign is inspired by and is a reflection of Sheikh Zayed’s vision for global sustainability and humanitarianism and the Zayed Sustainability Prize is proud to be continuing his legacy by reaching out to new communities and impacting lives all over the world.”
After the Bolivian event the campaign heads to Bangladesh. This collaboration is with the 2009 Prize winner, Dipal Barua and, in Kenya, with 2013 Prize winner, d.light. The campaign will conclude with an event in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Commenting on the Bolivian leg of the Guiding Light campaign, School Director for Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazon 4, Ms. Mercedes Almendras said: “The campaign and distribution of the solar lanterns will create greater awareness of the importance of the use of renewable resources and raise the quality of life for many families.”
“In all the rural schools of the municipality of San Juan, these lanterns will serve as teaching material and also as support to improve the performance in the teaching and learning process. In addition, the mothers of family will be able to have more time for housework and helping the development of the family, especially in the education of their children.”
Prize winners, in 2017, Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazon 4 is a co-educational school in Bolivia, founded in 1963 (the high school was added in 1986) and located in the town of San Juan; itself only established in 1956. The Prize-winning funds have enabled the school to self-supply its electricity with 100 photovoltaic (PV) panels of 25Kw. In addition, the school is using its on-campus photovoltaic solar installation as a platform that aims to affect government policy and define net metering regulations for the entire country of Bolivia.
Following the evolution of the Zayed Sustainability Prize from the Zayed Future Energy Prize, earlier this year, the 2019 awards will now include categories in Health, Food and Water, alongside Energy and Global High Schools. This aligns the Prize more closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s National Agenda 2021.
A total of 66 winners have so far been recipients of the Prize. Collectively, these winners have gone on to, directly or indirectly, affect positive impact on the lives of over 307 million people around the world.
Winners of the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony, held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, on 14th January.
About Zayed Sustainability Prize
Established by the UAE leadership, in 2008, as the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is a global award inspired by the sustainability legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Culminating in an annual awards ceremony, held each year during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Zayed Sustainability Prize invites pioneers from around the world to be part of a growing community of innovators, committed to developing impactful sustainability solutions and accelerating the development of projects that serve people across the world and for future generations to come.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize categories are Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.