H.E. Shaikh Hisham Al Khalifa speaks on the Capital Governorate ‘Green Capital’ project
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Feature by Rawia Beyhum
Manama, Bahrain February 2015 With H.E. Shaikh Hisham bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Governor of the Capital Governorate, Kingdom of Bahrain, in his office, we conversed on the importance of youth education and its implications on the environment and the standards of living in which we live.
The Capital Governorate ‘Green Capital’ project, initiated in 2014, is an initiative to better our city, driving green projects within the Capital of Manama, and reaching out to various communities including the private sector banks, universities and schools in the Capital, as well as partnering with the ‘Outdoor Classroom’ project initiated in schools in the UK.
Aligned with the national initiative to encourage education and youth empowerment, H.E. Shaikh Hisham hopes to reconnect youth to the environment and encourage community awareness and participation in the growth and maintenance of outdoor spaces.
As a parent himself, H.E. Shaikh Hisham laughs as he underlines his role to encourage outdoor creative play and getting out their with his children to ride a bicycle or plant a vegetable. “Today the youth seem to be pre-occupied with technology. To a large extent it is why we feel that it is vital to raise our children with a sense of cause. It is important for anyone to have a cause. Doing so requires providing small achievable goals that encourage empathy for others and the environment in which we live. Once youth learn how to manage goals, the pursuit of personal causes tends to grow with them.”
On asking what sort of ambitions the young people in Bahrain have, H.E. answered, “It is hard for them to envision the future and we have found that a lot more mentoring is required. Loving the field in which you work is important but until you practice in your field you don’t know if you love it or not. There is no right or wrong here, it’s a personal choice.”
Through its UK and local partners for the Outdoor Classroom project, the Capital Governorate hopes to provide the experience of horticulture in students from a young age, awarding three schools in the Capital with the Outdoor Classroom project. The project will provide university level guidance in planning an Outdoor Classroom space, and support to build and maintain these within respective schools.
“The Kingdom of Bahrain is very active socially. We have a lot of programs from the government and private sectors that encourage education, woman empowerment and social inclusion of the disabled. Woman are highly active in Bahrain and play a vital role in the health and education of youth,” explains H.E. Shaikh Hisham; Namely initiatives such as HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Woman (SCW).
“Setting an award for students with the ‘Outdoor Classroom’ project gets kids excited. Supporting banks such as Ahli United Bank (AUB) make ventures such as these possible”
H.E. ends off noting that the Outdoor Classroom partnership with the UK will provide a platform for possible exchange programmes nurturing the growth and adoption of sustainable ideas globally, creating solidarity and enduring friendships between youths thousands of kilometers away.
The Capital Governorate is home to the country’s capital Manama, and the heart of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It hosts the financial, economic, and commercial hub of the Kingdom, as well as countless tourist, commercial, private and public institutions and bodies. This prominent status means the governorate holds a pivotal responsibility in the kingdom, which is honoured to serve, and faces great challenges, which it is keen to resolve. This is particularly the case as the governor is sworn in before His Majesty King Hamad Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, and as such is bestowed with royal confidence.
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