Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 10th May 2022: Water Alliance, a Dubai-based non-profit organization focused on promoting the value of water by encouraging individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyles, has officially announced the winners of its RE-NEW Our World water innovation challenge for students in the UAE.
Launched with the support of sponsors, knowledge and culture partners, the challenge aims to inspire school students from the ages of 8 to 20, to ideate innovative solutions that will tackle local and global water issues, positively contributing towards a more sustainable environment and access to water for communities across the world. As a new member of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) competition organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Water Alliance will be sending the winner of the senior category to Stockholm to represent the UAE at the international competition.
Following a three-month long program of innovation and mentorship, the final winner of the RE-NEW Our World Challenge in the senior category is fifteen-year-old Mishal Faraz. The year 10 student from The Winchester School in Jebel Ali won the challenge for her water solution concept 'My Water Bottle Project”.
Mishal Faraz's winning concept aims to promote the re-use of water bottles among school children to reduce single-use plastic. The project includes adding a barcode to students' water bottles, and then scanning them each time the bottle is refilled, enabling them to get rewards and educational information about the benefits of re-use.
Edurne Gil de San Vicente, Program Director, Water Alliance: 'We are proud to successfully convene another edition of the RE-NEW Our World Student Water Innovation Challenge in the UAE. This program has become instrumental in getting the youth, like Mishal, interested in solving water challenges through creativity and research. We want to congratulate Mishal on her brilliant concept and thank SIWI for welcoming our region to the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. Our warmest gratitude also goes to participating schools across the Emirates, their management, and teachers for supporting and facilitating student enrollment to our water innovation challenge. They are the engine of a local grassroots movement empowering young change-makers.'
Mishal was awarded her prize at the Expo 2020 by Naji Skaf Xylem Managing Director Middle East & Turkey, in the presence of Mrs. Moza Mohammed Al-Neimi Director of productivity and demand at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and Mr. Franz Cerwinka Xylem Senior Vice President and President, Emerging Markets.
Mishal Faraz, Senior Category Winner of the RE-NEW Challenge: “Its an honour to be a senior category winner of the RE-NEW Water Innovation Challenge and be recognized by people who are striving to make the world a more sustainable and equitable place.
I am grateful to be be the first ever UAE Finalist at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2022 in August this year and excited to represent the UAE, Water Alliance and my school on that stage, standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the brightest young minds, working towards protecting our planet.”
As the next step, she will be working on a proof of concept to present her project during the World Water Week on the international stage in the final round to win the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.
Mrs. Ania Andersch, Senior Manager at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI): 'We are delighted to work with Water Alliance to empower young minds to innovate and welcome United Arab Emirates to the SJWP family. Our Congratulations to 15 year young Mishal Faraz and we look forward to seeing her presentation in Stockholm and her progressive idea come to fruition.”
After the success of the first RE-NEW Challenge in 2021, the second edition of the challenge grew in reach, attracting over 408 students from 39 schools across the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah to participate.
They were supported by 20 informative online sessions presented by Water Alliance's corporate sponsors and knowledge partners, followed by a mentorship phase for the finalists, which enabled young participants to develop projects and innovative solutions to improve the way we access, treat, or distribute water.