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Young Activists in Qatar Call for Action Against Plastic Bags

Student activists at a Qatar Foundation school are taking a stand against plastic bags – and calling for people across the country to support their efforts to protect the environment.

A group of 45 students at Qatar Academy Doha’s (QAD) Primary School have added their voice to worldwide calls for action to address the critical environmental issues facing the planet, launching an initiative that aims to raise awareness about the impact of single-use plastic bags, and ultimately lead to them being banned in Qatar.

The Activists in Action campaign, which was launched this week, saw 130 students representing the student leadership of QAD, which is part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education, cover the school’s walls and floors using plastic bags and plastic bottles collected by students, parents, and teachers, to illustrate the amount of plastic waste that society creates.

“This isn’t fair to our planet,” said Maha Al Thani, a Grade 5 student who is involved in the initiative. “We’re doing this to spread awareness about the impact that continuing to treat our earth like this is going to have on us, and the animals and the wildlife of this earth.”

Campaigner Khalid Abdelbaset Al Shaibei, a Grade 5 QAD student, said: “Qatar is one of the leaders of sustainability in the Middle East, and I believe that people within Qatar Foundation will be passionate about this initiative.”

“I feel very lucky to take part in the Activists in Action initiative. After 10 weeks of planning our campaign, we are keen to keep going and we’re not going to stop – this is about banning plastic bags, and once we have done this, we’re going to have new initiatives.”

The students also hope to collect 10,000 names on a petition to be presented to Qatar’s leadership, calling for the country to join the global effort to reduce single-use plastic waste.

“I think that this is going to change our future and we’re going to have a better world as a result,” said Grade 5 student Tayiba Muzaferija. “Other people will follow what Qatar did and we can show them that we can do this – we can help change the world.”

Jess Hoffman, PE Teacher and After School Activities Coordinator at QAD explained how the students, with the support of the leadership and teachers at Qatar Academy Doha, built on their original idea for helping to protect the environment. “We pitched an idea to a group of Grade 4 students:  what if we ban plastic bags?” she said. “And their response was ‘let’s do it’.

Elizabeth Kennedy, Wellbeing Facilitator at QAD, added: “These students are getting exposure to all sorts of different things that support what we do here at QAD in terms of education and development. Our students are developing the skills, knowledge and the confidence to be responsible global citizens. We aim to nurture our students’ academic and personal growth through authentic learning opportunities.”

Source: The Peninsula

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