On 30 September 2019, Sustainable Qatar organised its first Young Ambassadors Academy at Qatar Finland International School with 127 students from grade 7 to 9 participating. QFI School did a very impressive Ramadan project on climate change in 2019. Karin Scholtz-Barth, the President of Sustainable Qatar, visited the school and saw potential in QFI School students. Sustainable Qatar is an independent volunteer organisation founded in 2008. It raises awareness and actively engages people to take environmental sustainability action.
The goal of the Young Ambassadors Academy is to educate students to become young ambassadors to spread knowledge on environmental issues they feel are important. They were all encouraged to do a personal pledge. After completing the academy, they are ready to take their messages to other schools in Qatar.
The day started with a motivational presentation given by Karin Scholtz-Barth. She started with a personal story about growing up with limited resources in East-Germany. The lack of resources taught her and her peers to be inventive, something that many young people don’t need to be, due to the unlimited resources they have. Karin encouraged the students to think about their everyday actions and come up with new ideas. She showed some impressive examples around the world like Boyan Slat (The Ocean Cleanup), Jadav Payeng – the forest man, Bea Johnson (Zero Waste Movement) amongst who the students recognised Greta Thunberg, FridayForFuture School Strike and Morgan Freeman, the actor, who started a bee sanctuary.
Then the students were split into classroom groups and work on individual and school’s sustainability pledges. With the help of Sustainable Qatar Executive committee Erica Ramorino, MeryBeth Stuenkel, Shiban Khan, Hala Ahmed and Karin Scholtz-Barth the students were asked to think about what they want to be changed.
So, what did they came up with? Take shorter showers, pick up five pieces of plastic every day, use reusable containers and bottles, don’t let the water run, carpooling, go zero waste if possible, showers instead of baths, field trip to clean up the beach, recycle, use cruelty free products, use both sides of the paper, and many more. The first action was taken by 7A when they turned off the lights in the classroom to save energy.
The day finished with the presentation of the pledges. Everyone, students, teachers and the executive committee of Sustainable Qatar were happy with the course of the day and the results. There also rose an idea to form an environmental group to implement the pledges.