Makhzoumi Foundation, in cooperation with the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, organized the closing ceremony of the national competition “Let’s Plant and Maintain Our School and Our Environment”, under the patronage and attendance of the Director General of Education at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Mr. Fadi Yarak, in presence of the President of Makhzoumi Foundation Mrs. May Makhzoumi, the Secretary General of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO Dr. Tala Zein, the General Manager of Makhzoumi Foundation Mr. Samer El-Safah, the Vice-President and Member of the Administrative Board of Makhzoumi Foundation Dr. Saba Zreik and representatives of the participating schools and students. The ceremony was held on Thursday 9 May 2019, at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Beirut.
The competition was based on the best design for green spaces within the school, from the creation of 10th grade students in public and private schools in Greater Beirut, to achieve the sustainable development goals.
After the Lebanese National Anthem, the Director of Makhzoumi Foundation’s Development Program, Engineer Sallamah Naamani, gave a speech on behalf of the Foundation, in which she thanked the schools for participating in the competition, stressing that protecting and preserving the environment is one of the objectives of Makhzoumi Foundation. Naamani also spoke about the Foundation’s activities and initiative and about the importance of afforestation in cities.
In turn, the Secretary-General of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Tala Zein stressed the need to implement the sustainable development goals, because these goals are not out of reach if the private and public institutions and associations and governmental and non-governmental organizations cooperated.
Director General of Education at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Mr. Fadi Yarak thanked Makhzoumi Foundation and the Lebanese National Committee for UNESCO for this initiative. He expressed his happiness to associate education with the protection of the environment and the expansion of green spaces through activities carried out by students inside the school campus. “The sound school environment is a vital environment for school life,” he said.
During the ceremony, the designs of participation in the competition were showed, trophies were presented to all the participating schools, and the three schools that won the first prizes were announced. Prizes were handed over to the winners, in addition to plants from Makhzoumi Foundation’s nursery.
The competition aimed to introduce students to the sustainable development goals, in particular Goal 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, Goal 3 Good Health and Well-being, Goal 4 Quality Education, Goal 13 Climate Action, Goal 15 Life on Land, Goal 17 Partnerships to achieve goals.
It also aimed to encourage students to research and transpose their ideas about the concept of sustainability, and to educate them about the importance of their role as citizens in the development of their school, society and environment, and thus their city, by designing a way to transform the school into an environmentally friendly school in line with environmental standards and sustainable development goals.
Worth mentioning, the participating schools presented 31 designs, drawings and presentations for a committee composed of both Makhzoumi Foundation and the Lebanese National Committee for UNESCO, and educational and technical specialists, to select the best designs, taking into consideration the following criteria: expression of the subject, creativity and technology, design implementation in line with school construction and school infrastructure, the design.