Frustrated by the lack of youth-led sustainability projects in the Arab world, a likeminded group of individuals came together to create BENAA, a forward-thinking foundation aimed at encouraging and empowering the Arabian youth in order to develop and enhance sustainable development projects, and create an enabling environment in the Middle East and North Africa region.
“The most challenging part of our activities in the Arab region is the initial support of good ideas,” the group say. “People support real and final tested products and services, but not capacity building, startup ideas and prototypes. Accordingly we struggle a bit with funding the first steps, but afterwards things run smoothly.”
Delighted to scoop one of the five Lush Spring Prize 2017 Intentional Projects Awards, the group says the £10,000 prize fund has been earmarked to support initiatives in Egypt. “We will use the funds to help 50 motivated young people from five different regions in Egypt to start up an integrated project for rural development.”
The Foundation suggests that water, sanitation and hygiene solutions, plus solid waste management and rural planning will be at the heart of these plans, with money also allocated for the purposes of travelling across the country to research and improve public awareness.
“Winning the Lush Spring Prize will add a lot to our records and reputation in the MENA region, and will support our outreach activities. Moreover, getting involved in the Lush Spring Prize's community will influence our creativity and significantly add to our experiences.”
Traditionally BEENA helps strengthen and enhance projects in six areas. ‘Ecological Sustainability’, which looks at environmental engineering, green buildings, water management, sustainable sanitation, water and air pollution control, solid waste management and renewable energy. ‘Food and Agriculture’, with a focus on organic farming, food waste reduction, malnutrition control and local food production. Education, with initiatives aimed at fortifying the skills of younger generations and raising awareness of sustainable development. ‘Urban and Architecture’ projects, concentrating on issues such as the reconstruction of inadequate rural and urban settlements. ‘Social Development’ schemes, which seek to improve the life standards of rural and poor communities, and last but not least ‘Information and Communications Technology’ projects that ultimately facilitate sustainable development activities.
To discover more about the foundation or to get involved in one of their frequent events, BEENAA invites you to follow their social media accounts to keep abreast of their latest activities. “The most rewarding part of our project is seeing the significant transformation of the youth who enrolled in BENAA; how amazing, active and productive they became. They are enlightening our community, spreading peace, hope, and positivity.”
Discover more from the BENAA Foundation at http://benaa-global.org/