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Earth Prize supports youth’s innovative ideas tackling environmental challenges — foundation

By Saeb Rawashdeh - May 22,2022 - Last updated at May 22,2022

Angela McCarthy

AMMAN — The Earth Prize, launched by The Earth Foundation as their first initiative, is a global competition for teenagers to find practical solutions to environmental problems, according to CEO of the foundation Angela McCarthy.

“Everything that involves change is coming from education. What teenagers see growing up now will affect them in the future,” said McCarthy in a recent interview with The Jordan Times. 

The Earth Foundation was launched in 2020 in Geneva “to inspire, educate, mentor and empower students, schools, educational institutions, researchers and young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to tackle environmental challenges”, according to the organisation’s website.

“A prize and competition are great, but what’s the real impact? For me, what’s powerful is to take that solution, implement that solution and showcase the impact to inspire all the children,” she said

McCarthy added that The Earth Prize received positive feedback from students, teachers and students’ parents. 

“It was truly life transforming for the children. Learning from change-makers is very important and this is why we have nine of them as role models. Through the competition we opened the students’ minds in a fun way. It was very important that children in refugee camps had this opportunity to sign up for a global competition. We have an incredible mix of students but with one common goal: To inspire and educate the next generation. That starts with teenagers,” stressed McCarthy. 

The Earth Foundation cooperates with other organisations including local stakeholders.

“As a member of the board of directors and special adviser in Jordan to the Global Challenges Forum [GCF], a Swiss foundation, I launched the Life in Abundance [LiA] initiative in Amman in 2020 to support regional youth. 

LiA helps teens through among other things arranging for them to receive further education or training through scholarships granted by our generous partners,” said Riad Al Khouri, a board member and senior adviser for Jordan at the GCF.

With a presence in Switzerland and a focus on supporting young people, The Earth Foundation is a good fit for the GCF, Al Khouri continued, adding that the GCF helped promote The Earth Prize in Jordan and the region last year, and will do more of the same in 2022/23.

 According to McCarthhy, the plan is to launch The Earth Prize Alumni and organise additional outreach programmes. 

“We will soon start creating a second initiative called The Earth Prize Awards which will be for PhD-level students. A scientific committee will be in charge of assessing the research proposals in environmental sustainability,” McCarthy noted.

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