Tag Archive for: Jordan

UNRWA: Enhance students’ awareness towards environment

For the World Health Day, UNRWA celebrates Ms. Obeid, named the 2022 Earth Prize Educator of the Year. Ms Obeid, a teacher at the UNRWA Sweileh Preparatory Girls’ School in Jordan, was selected by the WEEC’s Secretary General Professor Mario Salomone.

Dr Oroba Labadi, Chief pf the UNRWA Field Education Program, underlines the importance of raising students’ awareness towards global environmental causes, “which is not limited to provide basic education but also in enhancing their knowledge, skills and build positive trends towards global environmental causes”. 

Indeed, what encouraged Ms Obeid to take part in the competition together with her students was her belief that Palestine refugee students can participate in international competitions and affect change in both local and international communities. 

”This award shows the impact of the professional in-service trainings that UNRWA regularly provides to us.” Ms Obeid Said.  

UNRWA and SDG 13 – Climate Action

Across its fields of operation, the UNRWA plays a key role in addressing environmental protection issues within the Palestine refugee community and has an obligation to minimize the negative environmental impact of its own operations. In addition, the Agency is prioritizing a range of environmental protection efforts that include for instance the installation of energy saving equipment, such as solar panels, water heaters and LED fittings, in a number of schools, health centres and other installations, as well as safe disposal of medical waste.  

Measures to protect water resources and improve environmental health in Palestine refugee camps are also being undertaken including the development of an integrated solid waste management system that will serve all Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon and the installation of solar power systems in 80 schools and six health clinics in Gaza.  

The Agency is also exploring current environmental behaviours and teaching practices in its schools and classrooms in order to see how to strengthen and build upon these practices in a coordinated and coherent way. Developing capacity of Palestine refugee youth in the design, manufacture and servicing of renewable energy technology and energy efficiency devices is important for job creation and stimulating the green economy. UNRWA has recently introduced courses on energy efficiency at its vocational training centres in Gaza and will look to expand these to other fields based on lessons learned.  

About UNRWA 

Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, UNRWA was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950. 

In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2023 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States. UNRWA also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations, which is used mostly for international staffing costs. 

The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict. 

Safaa Obeid, UNRWA teacher in Jordan, is the winner of the Earth Prize Educator of the Year

© 2022 UNRWA Photo by Dima Ismail

Following the legacy of the original award, WEEC’s  Secretary-General, Professor Mario Salomone selected Ms Safaa Obeid , a teacher at the UNRWA Sweileh Preparatory Girls’ School in Jordan,  as the Earth Prize Educator of the Year and awarded a prize of US$ 12,500.

Ms. Obeid entered her students in the Earth Prize competition – an environmental sustainability competition for students between the ages of 13-19 – under the themes of concern to them as Palestine refugees in Jordan. These include, desertification of the Dead Sea by 2030, making camps more environmentally friendly and managing food waste in Jordan.

Ms. Obeid said:

“I am very proud to represent UNRWA in this international contest on environment sustainability and be awarded the “Educator of the Year” title. This amplifies my sense of responsibility towards my environment, my community and my students. I have been very keen to integrate environmental sustainability in the classroom by creating an enriching an environmental activity kit, which is user-friendly and easy to implement for the purpose of increasing my students’ awareness of environmental causes.”

In addition to Ms. Obeid’s students, 34 teams from 24 UNRWA schools and one vocational training centre registered their projects in the competition. Two UNRWA schools were named in the top 34 Earth Prize Scholar teams, namely the UNRWA Amqa Secondary Co-educational School in Lebanon and the UNRWA Gaza Training Centre, in Gaza.

The Earth Prize 2022 Educator of the year nominees were:

Pauline Herbommez, french teacher at Eton College, in Berkshire, England.  With other members of the school staff, Ms Herbommez helped create the Belkshire Schools Eco Network (BSEN) and the Environmental Action Group (E@E). The BSEN and E@E attended COP26.

Imani Hudaa, teacher at Raila Educational Centre in Kibra, Nairob, Kenya.  She has been involved in a number of school activities related the environment by encouraging learners to draw, act, dance and even write poetry about environment.

Ram Chandra Dahal, a faculty member at the Druk Gylalpo’s Institute in Bhutan. He believes that education is the key to making people live in coherence with nature and assume responsibility for its protection. At the school, he acts as a teacher, mentor, and the Coordinator for Emotional Area of Development.

Luc Arvisals, a teacher at Our Lady of the Snows in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. He has supported student work on a variety of projects: planning for rewilding of urban areas, institutionalising the use of aeroponic growing gardens at the school, fundraising for a solar testing system to gauge the economic viability of installing solar panels on the school.

Ruth Parry, has taught at the Institute Le Rosey in Switzerland for nine years. She has built links with over 20 local and international charities to support environmental and humanitarian issues, and has helped develop a whole school curriculum to support Service Learning projects and skill development.

Laurence Myers is the K-12 Service Learning Coordinator at the American School of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He supports student work on a variety of projects including the elimination of plastic water bottles, composting all landscaping and food waste, and establishing school-wide sustainability goal. He provides training and support educators in using systems-thinking for sustainability.




New project to combat marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea lunched by Media Advisory_UfM and University of Siena

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation of marine litter in the Mediterranean as the use of single-use plastics such as gloves and masks has increased, threatening to stall and even reverse the progress achieved. Single plastic accounts for up to 50% of beach litter.

The new project “Plastic Busters: Fostering knowledge transfer to tackle marine litter in the Mediterranean by integrating Ecosystem-based management into coastal zone management” is led by the University of Siena and will facilitate the efforts of decision makers in effectively dealing with marine litter and achieve a good environmental status in the Mediterranean. The project will be implemented in Greece, Italy, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Spain, and Tunisia over the next 2 years with a budget of over €1 Million. It is co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Med programme.

The main actions of the project are: implementation of national hands-on training activities and an e-course on marine litter monitoring, assessment, prevention and mitigation; 4 pilot campaigns on marine litter monitoring and assessment; 4 demos showcasing marine litter prevention and mitigation measures; creation of a coastal cities network and a roadmap of policy priorities for a litter-free Mediterranean.

The new project is part of the UfM-supported Plastic Busters regional  initiative, kick-started in 2013 to tackle the issue of plastic waste in the Mediterranean by addressing its entire management cycle.
The press conference will focus on the need to promote and mainstream the results of completed marine litter related projects and will provide a collective reflection on future challenges and opportunities for effective action towards enhanced environmental protection.
The conference will be online on 26th January  at 4pm CEST.
The conference will be in English.
Speakers will be:
  • Maria Cristina Fossi – Professor at the University of Siena and Plastic Busters Director
  • Francesco Frati – Rector of the University of Sienna
  • Thomais Vlachogianni – Programme/Policy Officer at the Mediterranean Information Office for the Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE/ Greece)
  • Sana Ben Ismail – National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies, Tunisian partner of the project.

All the project’s partners will be present.

Registration to attend the event onsite must be done via the following email: silvia.casini@unisi.it
This e-mail must include the following information: Full name, Media organisation and position, Email address and mobile phone number.