Green Prophet was bowled over by the teen rapper whose environmentalism got him a ticket to COP21, now an even younger eco-warrior has gotten our attention. A nine year old Dubai boy, annoyed by streetside litter, decided to pick up some trash. A good deed, that. But it’s where he took that action that makes this child a stand-out for planetary stewardship.In just two weeks, Yug Shah collected 18 times his weight in recyclable materials – about 526 kilograms. His passion to protect the environment was supported by youth programs offered by powerhouse environmental organizations such as the The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – formerly named the World Wildlife Fund – and the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), which partner with local schools to not only educate kids on green issues but to encourage active stewardship. No doubt Shah’s family also played a role.
The fifth-grader at Our Own High School, Al Warqaa, had already participated in past Earth Day and Earth Hour events. He was a member of Students for the Earth. Inspired by EEG’s Neighbourhood Recycling project, he set out to establish his own micro-recycling program, enlisting his relatives, neighbours and friends to participate too. Shah created and shared informational flyers with about 25 people, then took his message on the road, going door to door to encourage others in his neighborhood to learn (and act) more on recyclable materials. Over a two week trial, he collected the waste, which he dropped at EEG for recycling.
“It is our responsibility to take action and spread awareness among people so that all become environment conscious,” he told Khaleej Times.
The EEG website states the Neighbourhood Recycling project “provides students a platform to contribute to the scoiety they live in and an opportunity to act as responsible change agents at a young age. Once registered with the campaign, kids are encouraged to collect mobile phones, batteries, printer toners and ink cartridges, paper, plastic, gave the youngster the platform to show his enthusiasm, giving him a chance to act as a responsible change agent.”
Participating students earn the opportunity to plant a tree – memorialized with their name – in one of the public places within the United Arab Emirates during EEG’s annual tree planting campaign.
Proof that well-planned youth engagement programs do work. It’s never to early to start teaching environmental stewardship. Got a programs underway in your school or neighborhood? Drop us a comment so we broadcast your successes too.
Image :: Khaleej Times