Bahraini students top in youth empowerment drive
Manama, July 10, 2014
The students from the University of Bahrain have won a $10,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation for its ‘Keep an Eye’ project.
The ‘Ripples of Happiness’ youth empowerment programme was organised by the foundation in partnership with Injaz Bahrain.
Coming in a close second, the Al Quds Open University in Palestine has won a $7,000 grant for its ‘Take a Breath’ initiative, which the University of Jordan secured third place for its ‘Run and Save’ programme, winning a $5,000 grant to implement its project.
The winning project from Bahrain sought to tackle a the heat that plagues many countries. The students were inspired by a tragic accident that took place in September last year, when a five-year old student was forgotten inside a bus and died due to intense heat exhaustion and asphyxiation.
The projects aim was to ensure the safety of children by devising a way to keep track of the number of students getting on and off the bus. They built a laser detective sensor installed at the door that alerts the driver to the number of students, guaranteeing that no child gets left behind.
Sheikha Hessa Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, executive director, Injaz Bahrain, congratulated the winning team, and said: “Such initiatives are intended to encourage youth to engage socially and take the lead in inducing social change in their communities through “entrepreneurship” that would not have been possible without the support of the Coca-Cola Foundation.
“Today our youth have shown success in responding to social needs facing their society and actually contributed and gave back to their local communities.”
The second runner-up, ‘Take a Breath’ project drew inspiration an insight that in a fast paced world moments of reflection or appreciation of surroundings are a rarity.
The students aimed at providing a beautiful space within the heart of the city to disrupt the city’s fast pace and offer a moment of appreciation for nature. Thus, with a group of volunteers, they embarked on their mission of beautification by gardening, rebuilding and refurbishing a street with benches and art that inspires people to stop and ‘Take a Breath.’
The third runner-up’s ‘Run and Save’ programme built customised bicycles that turn kinetic energy from motion into electricity.
The innovation seeks to promote an active and healthy lifestyle and also encourage environmental sustainability. By reducing electricity costs accrued by the university, the students indirectly sought to decrease tuition fees.
Another project worthy of note was the ‘Younging for Life’ campaign by the American University of Science and Technology in Lebanon.
The aim of this project was to revitalise the minds and rejuvenate the spirits of retired people. They sought to do so by launching an awareness campaign about the importance of helping retired people live fulfilling lives and provide them with engaging opportunities.
They did this by creating an NGO called ‘Younging’ with the mission to spread the culture of understanding and establishing a dialogue between the elderly and the youth to empower them to overcome their social isolation. It also aimed to facilitate the elderly to get basic medical services. - Tradearabia News Service