One of the youngest Emirati entrepreneurs in the country, AlDhabi AlMheiri is encouraging more youngsters to write about the environment by publishing their books for free.
AlDhabi, who runs the local publishing house 'Rainbow Chimney Educational Aids', has published more than 17 children’s books on topics like conservation, pollution, and nature.
In addition to that, the 9-year-old has launched a new, first-of-its kind, interactive eco-club website that will teach kids about the environment with fun activities, games, and videos. The initiative aims to attract over 10,000 children to raise awareness about climate change.
The idea came to AlDhabi — who holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to publish a bilingual book series — after reading the words of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “He said that everyone should be involved in COP28,” she said, speaking to Khaleej Times. “So, I started thinking how we as children could be part of the conference.”
Environment as a priority
AlDhabi realized that she wanted to give every single child the opportunity to be aware about climate change and take action. “I decided to create this initiative which enables children to share ideas and learn more about what is actually happening in the world in terms of climate change and global warming and how we can reduce greenhouse gases in order to help reduce the effect on our lovely earth,” she added.
She says youngsters have an important role to play while protecting the environment. “By changing our habits, we could create a huge impact on the earth,” she said. “Talking about the environment is so important because it helps children realize or understand the problem we are facing today and in the future. These conversations also help us find solutions and encourage people to make sustainable choices.”
According to her, being able to publish their own books has been extremely encouraging for youngsters to address environmental issues. “These books allow students to express their ideas and show what they have learned about while taking care of the environment,” she said. “We call them the eco-heroes for the work they are doing in educating their peers."
Response to Eco-Club
AlDhabi said she is surprised by how positively children have reacted to her new initiative. “I couldn’t believe how children were so excited and passionate about the environment,” she said. “They understand the importance of having a clean and healthy planet.”
In an effort to reach out to more children, AlDhabi has begun visiting schools and speaking to students. As part of this, she made her first visit to the Nibras International School where she engaged with over 300 children in person and hundreds of others virtually.
AlDhabi is hopeful that the eco-club will inspire more students. “The interactive activities and games on the platform have managed to keep children attracted to the page and they keep coming to it several times a day,” she said. “The club also contains useful information and a guide on how to take action to reduce greenhouse gases from a child’s point of view.”
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