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CHF West Bank- Students Celebrate International Earth Day in Deir Qaddis

Published 04/28/2011 by Global Communities

Students Celebrate Earth Day in Deir Qaddis

“I was excited for this day. My friends and I were happy with the wide-range of activities”, said Qatr Al Nada, a 10-year-old student, following her participation in International Earth Day celebrations held on Thursday at Deir Qaddis Primary Girls’ School. Environmental awareness activities for children are a central component of the five-year, $100 million Community Infrastructure Development Program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by CHF International. The event aimed to promote community involvement in environmental protection, a key focus of the program which implements green building initiatives in the West Bank. The event was part of a series of fun days for children to mark International Earth Day celebrated around the world in April. Similar fun days were also held in Borhan Kamal Primary Boys’ School in Nablus city and Hatta Primary Co-educational School in the Hebron governorate.
Joining students, teachers and community representatives were Tony Rantisi, USAID International Development Specialist, Qays Nabhan from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Nasser Farraj, Community Infrastructure Development Program Director.
During the International Earth Day Celebration in Deir Qaddis, students performed songs, and dance and theatrical skits about environmental topics. Students also listened to performances by a traditional storyteller, also known as a hakawati, participated in art activities using recycled materials, planted trees at their school, competed in a team quiz bowl on environmental facts, and participated in an essay competition with an environmental theme.
Globally, buildings account for 40 percent of global carbon emissions making them a major polluter. Building green not only has positive impact on the environment, but also reduces the running costs of buildings and increases the productivity and health of inhabitants. According to the U.S. Building Council, green building is affordable, generally costing less than 2% in additional costs which are balanced by new savings such as reduced energy consumption. Recognizing these benefits, USAID is piloting a series of green building initiatives under the Community Infrastructure Development Program, including model environmentally friendly public buildings that can be easily replicated in the Palestinian market, and a series of seminars and training activities for key stakeholders.