By Olivia Alabaster
The Daily Star
The vehicle is specially equipped so that users with disabilities and visual impairments may also avail of its services.
The vehicle is specially equipped so that users with disabilities and visual impairments may also avail of its services.

BEIRUT: A new environmental education caravan, launched Monday, will travel around the country to teach young people and small companies about the importance of developing green practices.

The mobile computer school, or e-ecoeducation (eee) project, is launched by Fondation Sanadar, a Lebanese nongovernmental organization.

The project was launched Monday at BIEL, under the patronage of Environment Minister, Nazem al-Khoury, who was represented by Lina Yamout, acting chief at the service of environmental guidance at the ministry. The president of the municipality of Baabda, Henri Helou and Bushar Itani, a member of the municipality of Beirut council, also attended the launch.

In the caravan, which is furnished with 10 computers, participants will learn about green practices, through electronic methods which will include information on electronic waste management, collection and recycling.

The vehicle is also equipped with a ramp to provide easy access for disabled users, and has special software to enable visually impaired people to use the mobile computer school also.

According to a statement from the NGO, the eee project will “promote the preservation and improvement of our natural environment through their business environment and the use of technology, as a ‘must’ tool in today’s life.”

In its pilot phase, the e-ecoeducation caravan will cover the Greater Beirut area and towns and villages of Mount Lebanon, and will target municipalities, schools and universities, civil society organizations and also the private sector.

Speaking at the launch, Tania Helou, the general manager of Fondation Saradar, described the purpose of the e-ecoeducation project, which she said is the first of its kind in Lebanon, and perhaps even the Arab region.

“The program seeks to promote awareness, disseminate skills and knowledge to develop, create and implement a ‘green’ culture and to transform behaviors into environmentally responsible attitudes,” she said.

Education, she said, was a prerequisite to safeguarding our natural environment, which in itself is key to development. “We tend to forget that the preservation of the environment is a fundamental condition for sustainable human, cultural and socioeconomic development.”

The development NGO, now entering its 10th year, has recycled the caravan itself, having previously used it for other educational outreach programs across Lebanon, and even in Iraq. So far the NGO has provided IT training to over 14,000 people.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 25, 2011, on page 3.

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