Name: Mishal Faraz
Country: United Arab Emirates
Age: Under 18 years old
Courses completed: Plastic Waste and the Basel Convention, Green Fiscal Policy, An Introduction to Climate Change and Human Rights, Cities and Climate Change, Sustainable Diet, Children and Climate Change
Story ID: 441
My name is Mishal Faraz. I’m a 15 years old high school student in United Arab Emirates. I am a dedicated environmentalist and emphatically believe that everybody who inhabits this planet shares the responsibility to take care of it and that no one is too young to make a difference.
Over the years I have extensively campaigned to raise awareness about deforestation and desertification, participated in tree plantations and recycling drives, organized awareness campaigns in my community to highlight issues such as food wastage, water and electricity conservation, proper waste disposal, pollution, and ocean conservation to name a few. I have an earnest wish to make our planet a more sustainable and equitable place and I understand that the more I learn about the problems our planet is facing, the better equipped I will be to a part of the solution.
So in 2020 I sat down for an online search to look for useful climate related courses and that’s when I discovered UN CC:Learn and that was the beginning of a life-changing journey – an epiphany! The first UN CC:Learn course I completed was “Children and Climate Change” (February 2020). It was a gamechanger for me. While I had been committed to learning more about climate change since a very young age, never had I been exposed to a course so meticulously designed. I felt ENLIGHTENED AND EMPOWERED and realized how the youth yields power as members of a global community that can unite for change. That when our voices and our actions are united with millions of people around the world, we can create a movement which is inclusive, impactful, and impossible to ignore.
After completing the course, I endeavored to create a ripple effect by encouraging my friends and peers to take up UN CC:Learn courses so that they can reap the benefits that I did. My newly found comprehensive knowledge also enabled me to spread awareness through various channels like school assemblies, newspapers, and radio. My superlative learning experience led me to enrolling for further UN CC:Learn courses – “Sustainable Diet” (March 2020), “Cities and Climate Change” (July 2020), “An Introduction to Climate Change and Human Rights” (August 2021), and “Green Fiscal Policy” (August 2021). The latest course I have completed is “Plastic Waste and the Basel Convention” (July 2022). This course plays a pivotal role in one of the greatest opportunities of my life.
In August 2022, during World Water Week celebrations, I will be representing the United Arab Emirates as the National Winner at the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize, which is one of the highest laurels young people can win for water-based sustainable solutions. My project is based on the detrimental impact single-use plastic has on the oceans. With several rounds of interviews ahead of me, I had to really have an in-depth knowledge of the subject, and doing this UN CC:Learn course has given me the conviction that I am ready. UN CC:Learn is now a part of my learning journey for life. I look forward to completing many more courses in the years to come and encourage and inspire as many individuals as I can to be a part of this dynamic learning platform. The call for climate action has never been as urgent as it is now. Our planet needs transformational change, and it requires actions on all levels – it needs eco heroes, changemakers and trailblazers. And UN CC:Learn is the best platform to educate and empower these heroes.
Does your story also contribute to gender equality?