An international environmental organisation has presented Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s (WCMC-Q) Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First campaign with a prestigious award for sustainability.

The Energy Globe Foundation, which is based in Austria, announced that Sahtak Awalan is the 2018 winner of the Energy Globe Award for the State of Qatar. The prize honours projects across the globe that raise awareness about the sustainable use of resources and which make a real difference to the future of the planet.

Nesreen Al Rifai, chief communications officer at WCM-Q, said it was a great honour to have been selected and testament to the valuable work that Sahtak Awalan is doing in the community. Al Rifai said:

‘Sahtak Awalan is helping to change the health and sustainability landscape in Qatar through a multitude of projects that are improving people’s lives but also mitigating the environmental impact that we have on the world around us. We have a duty to our children to create sustainable lifestyles that will protect both their health and the environment and Sahtak Awalan is helping to do this.’

Al Rifai also thanked the campaign’s strategic partners for their incredible support. She said:

“Our governmental and corporate partners provide invaluable backing and I would like to thank everyone at Qatar Foundation, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Environment and Municipality, Occidental Petroleum, ExxonMobil, and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for their belief in the campaign.”

Initiatives launched by Sahtak Awalan include The Color Run, Yalla Natural and Project: Greenhouse, which has built 130 greenhouses in local elementary schools to teach children how to grow fruit and vegetables, and the importance of including them in their diet. This has been taken to the next level by the new phase of Project: Greenhouse, Khayr Qatarna, which was launched in February.  This has seen three, large-scale greenhouses erected in local schools and fruits and vegetables grown on a commercial scale. The produce is then sold under the Khayr Qatarna brand at local supermarkets with all proceeds being reinvested in the scheme so that it can be expanded to include more schools.

The mission and vision is to support Qatar’s drive for food security, but also to improve sustainability by reducing food miles. The scheme also teaches students about agriculture and economics.

This year, more than 182 countries participated in the Energy Globe Awards and there were over 2,000 entries. With such strong engagement, the award is considered to be the most prestigious environmental and sustainability prize worldwide. Having been selected as the national winner of the Energy Globe Award, Sahtak Awalan will now be considered for the international prize.