Amman – Following the release of Oxfam’s Betak Beitak report last week – the first of its kind report that assesses public knowledge, attitudes and behaviors on recycling in the country – and as part of its broader, coordinated “Your Environment, Your Home” environmental awareness campaign (called Betak Beitak in Arabic), Oxfam is leveraging the power of young people across the country by engaging tens of schools with the hope of increasing environmental literacy. Last week’s report pointed to investing in young people by making them more aware of how they can protect their environment as one of its key recommendations.
“If we’re to transform the way we see environmental issues and their broader impacts, we have to start with the individual level,” said Nivedita Monga, Oxfam Country Director (Jordan). “Without a change in attitudes and a change in behaviours, no amount of technical expertise will overhaul the way we interact with our environment. And, as recent global initiatives have shown, young people carry tremendous power in the fight against climate change.”
Oxfam has reached out to tens of schools in urban and rural areas of the country, starting with a poster campaign that aims to simplify what recycling is and how to do so properly. Several schools received recycling bins that act as basketball nets to motivate students to sort and recycle in a playful, lighthearted way. Interactive sessions have also been implemented in some facilities allowing students to engage and ask questions about proper recycling and waste management in facilitated sessions.
“Children like to learn new things, and things learned in childhood can stick with them for a long time and can create a whole recycling culture” said Ahmad, school Principal at a participating school.” Often, it’s children who influence their families, it’s them that encourage their parents to leave plastic bottles or metal cans on the side, so they may be recycled. These small, seemingly insignificant starting points have the ability to move entire communities forward in meaningful ways.”
Oxfam’s Betak Beitak campaign has been underway for several months. In addition to last week’s report shedding light on the existing recycling culture in Jordan, an online central resource hub was launched connecting individuals and communities across the country to tailored, local information, and resources. A series of social media initiatives that leveraged the reach of local influencers Rosan Halak and Sharif Zoubi to highlight the importance of reducing one’s environmental footprint have also reached over a million people across the country.
Oxfam is grateful for the generous funding of the Government of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as GiZ that allowed these initiatives to come to fruition.