The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) have signed a new strategic partnership to promote environmental sustainability and healthy eating among Qatar’s young people to meet the challenges of the future.
Under the new partnership, MME will provide strategic support and expert advice to WCM-Q’s flagship public health campaign, Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First.
Your Health First runs Project Greenhouse, a highly successful initiative which has already gifted greenhouses, seeds, and gardening equipment to 130 schools across Qatar to teach students how to grow a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and herbs.
Project Greenhouse is providing the future generation in Qatar with essential practical skills and knowledge to meet and overcome several challenges. The project is also teaching children to appreciate where their food comes from, the importance of eating fresh produce for good health, and valuable lessons about environmental sustainability.
The MME will now provide crucial technical and scientific expertise, materials and support as Project Greenhouse expands and enters an exciting new phase and prepares for the next five years of promoting sustainability and health.
Existing greenhouses are to be expanded, more schools are to join the programme, and production will increase to boost the yield of important crops. The aim is for all schools across Qatar to be enrolled in Project Greenhouse, giving all students the chance to both learn and contribute, creating a strong and healthy young generation to fulfill the vision of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The healthy produce grown in the schools will be offered for general sale to the community in Qatar at specially created market stalls, at good value prices, with all revenues from sales to be reinvested into Project Greenhouse to strengthen and expand the initiative.
HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, vice chairperson and chief executive officer of Qatar Foundation said, “We value this co-operation as, together, with all of our partners, we strive to promote the importance of food security and environmental sustainability, while, simultaneously, improving the health and wellbeing of our local community. Indeed, it is vital now more than ever that we are collectively working to invest in Qatar’s future.”
HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi said, “This strategic partnership the beginning of a collaboration that will benefit all members of the community in Qatar. It is of paramount importance that young people in Qatar not only eat a healthy, balanced diet, but that they also understand how the earth provides for us all, and how we must respect, protect, and sustain the environment in order to meet the challenges that the future holds.”
HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi, said, “We call on schools to further co-operate with the Your Health First campaign to educate our children about the healthy habits that can protect them from diseases and improve the prospects for a physically and psychologically healthy life.”
Dr Javaid Sheikh, dean, WCM-Q, said, “The unparalleled expertise in agricultural science that the ministry can offer to Sahtak Awalan-Your Health First and Project Greenhouse- will help enormously in driving these initiatives’ growth and success, bringing fresh, healthy produce to the community in Qatar, and equipping schoolchildren with a keen understanding and appreciation of the environment.”
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