19 April 2011

ALBAIK and Feena Khair launch Earth Day activities

Thousands of students from schools all across Jeddah are participating in the “Billion Acts of Green” campaign, a global initiative of the Earth Day Network.  The activities in Jeddah are sponsored by ALBAIK in partnership with the Feena Khair program.  The ‘Billion Acts of Green’ is the largest environmental service campaign in the world and it aims to register and implement 1 billion acts of green aims to further the goal of reducing carbon emissions, support sustainability and inspire everyone around the world to take part with simple tasks and pledges.  The goal is to register one billion actions in advance of the Global Earth Summit in Rio in June 2012 [also referred to as Rio+20].  To date the Earth Day Network has registered over 100 million pledges and acts.

ALBAIK is committed to supporting the Billion Acts of Green by creating greater awareness of the need for environmental care and is organizing a series of school visits to talk to students about Earth Day and the role each and everyone plays in protecting the environment.  The visits include interactive Q&A sessions with students sharing their input and understanding of the environment and their responsibility within it. 

“One – Two – Three be Nazeeh & Plant a Tree” is the Earth Day message being promoted by ALBAIK’s two loveable characters Nazeeh & Wartan and the visits will culminate in the students signing pledges and planting a small plant in the vicinity of their schools or homes.

Each student planting is a green act and by the end of the school visits more than  2500 students will have planted their own little plant either at school or at home. As part of the environmental care pledge, it is also a green act not to throw litter, to turn off the lights when not needed and not to waste water by letting it run after use.

The Feena Khair program, which was officially launched by HH Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, Minister of Education, aims to provide a healthier school environment by bringing together teachers, students and parents, instilling teamwork, responsibility, cleanliness and environmental care.

Eng. Rami Abu-Ghazaleh, CEO ALBAIK Food Systems, said:  “Feena Khair will take every opportunity possible to widen the educational aspect of its mission and I am full of hope that it will influence a positive change among our future generations.”

He went on to say: “The message behind our school visits is clear and simple: take small steps on a daily basis and gradually you will get into the habit of automatically doing things that care for the environment, such as putting litter in the garbage bin instead of throwing it anywhere, conserving energy by turning off the lights and saving precious water resources by turning off taps. Positive thinking such as this improves our daily lives and in the long term has a positive and lasting effect on our planet Earth.”

We cannot ignore statistics such as the fact 30% of the world’s natural resources were used up between 1970 and 1995 (World Wide Fund for Nature), and  30% of the world is endangered by depletion of the ozone layer. Studies show that the catastrophic losses caused by land desertification amount to 10 million hectares and an economic loss of 42 billion dollars a year, and in 1998 alone there were 10 million environmental refugees.

Commenting on these statistics, Eng. Rami said: “Given the scandalous numbers of environmental and financial losses around the world, we decided to initiate a children’s planting campaign in order to instill the need for environmental awareness and to strengthen this message by making our school activities a continuous year round development project.”

Eng. Rami concluded by thanking all those involved in supporting the campaign including the Feena Khair team, Alwan Company for supplying the plants, the teachers, the students and their parents.

ALBAIK will mark Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd 2011 by inviting team members and their families to participate in planting in the Nazeeh and Wartan park in Al Khaldiyah district.

Anyone wanting to take part in the “Billion Acts of Green” campaign is welcome to visit the Nazeeh & Wartan Facebook page and upload their messages and what they will be doing there.

Feena Khair is a partnership between the Ministry of Education, ALBAIK Food Systems and Khawater that brings together the public and private sector to develop programs and initiatives for the benefit of the community.