By Saeb Rawashdeh – May 07,2022

Photo by Safa Obeid

AMMAN — Safa Obeid, who was selected as the Earth Prize Educator of the Year, said the recognition has helped her acquaint students with their surroundings and the environmental problems they are facing.

A teacher at the UNRWA Sweileh Preparatory Girls’ School, Obeid was awarded a prize of $12,500, and was selected by Professor Mario Salomone from the World Environmental Education Congress, according to the UN agency.

The global Earth Prize challenges and inspires students to effect change in their communities, through active participation, according to UNRWA.

With a passion for teaching, Obeid joined UNRWA in 2015.

“I obtained many training courses which enabled me to be more proactive with students,” said Obeid in a recent interview with The Jordan Times.

Joining UNRWA was an evolving point, she said. “First of all, UNRWA is a humanitarian organisation whose aim is to deliver high-quality education to Palestinian refugees. It also helped me shape my long-term goal as a teacher, making learning a pleasant experience to my students. It also helps me engage them in the world in general,” she said

Obeid highlighted the importance of environmental education, noting that it allows students to be exposed to their environment and raise their awareness of ecological problems.

To further engage students, Obeid created a toolkit which included environmental education.

“The aim of this toolkit is to raise students’ awareness of the environment and environmental sustainability. Teachers find this toolkit easy to use and it is engaging to students,” Obeid said.

Another initiative she brought to her students’ attention is on food waste. 

“Regarding food waste management, based on the statistics, we found that the rate of the food waste in Jordan is higher than the global food waste rate,” she stressed.

“Students are thinking of making an application that will help needy people to reach gatherings with excessive food waste to give it to the poor. They also designed a leftover recipe book where all ingredients in the book come from leftover food,” Obeid noted.

She is also keen on propagating the use of solar energy, among other environmentally friendly ideas.

“Working with UNRWA gives you the opportunity to help refugee students who have great abilities,” she said.