Guest post by George Zacharia
“Every walk with nature, just helps you to realize that there is still more you can do for it.”
This was one of the messages received for the “My 2015 Environmental Message Competition” organized by Students for the Earth, an EC Youth Group, in support of the 15th anniversary of the Earth Charter.
Students for the Earth, is a youth group based in the United Arab Emirates that engages in a variety of activities including environmental, humanitarian, and cultural activities, and was founded in 2013. The group has organized workshops, visits, volunteering activities, and charity collections. It organizes campaigns and competitions on social media to spread awareness. Students for the Earth was selected as the October 2013 youth group the month. They recently participated in a Clean Up Drive to clean up the city of Sharjah, and also organized an all UAE online quiz and art competition to celebrate the country’s national day in December.
The competition asked students from grades KG1-Grade 13 to come up with their messages for 2015. It had to be less than 15 words. To spread awareness about the Earth Charter’s anniversary, we also asked students to add “#ECplus15” in their messages. Even though the notice was short, the group received a lot of entries and 14 finalists were chosen. From them, one winner was selected by popular vote and six winners were selected by a panel of judges. The competition was able to reach to more than 12,000 people from different countries.
“We never expected such a large response to the competition. We are glad that we were able to let students know about Earth Charter and its principles and also how they could bring it about in their lives,” said George Zacharia, the founder of the group. One of the comments read, “Good work dear Kids! You Students for the Earth proved to be real teachers of Mother Earth.”
The group is planning to organize more events this year including a one-day environmental conference by youth and various other activities. The group can be contacted through its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/studentsfortheearth or firstname.lastname@example.org.