Today, the European Union joined over 300 Palestinian students in cleaning the streets of East Jerusalem in conjunction with the International Clean-up Campaign: Let’s Do it! Ten schools from various neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem participated in the initiative and joined the world in this international movement. The students cleaned their schools and the streets of the Old city, Wadi Al Joz, Al Ram, Om Tuba, Sur Baher and Beit Hanina.
This activity is an extension of the ''My Green Jerusalem'' initiative launched by the EU in 2018, which aims at raising environmental awareness and promoting positive social engagement among students.
This initiative is organised under the EU East Jerusalem Programme. Multiple Palestinian organisations supported under the East Jerusalem Programme are part of this initiative that involves students and volunteers. It coincides with similar activities in more than 100 cities around the world to mark the World Clean-up Day 2019
On the occasion, the Acting EU Representative Tomas Niklasson said: “We are proud to see Jerusalem joining hundreds of cities worldwide to mark the World Clean-up Day. This activity is not just about cleaning Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem. This is a message by students and youth claiming their basic rights to live in healthy and clean spaces. This is also a way to act against a harsh reality of institutionalised asymmetric delivery of public services by the Israeli municipality. By enhancing community engagement and supporting creative initiatives such as ''My Green Jerusalem'', Palestinians are trying to make their neighbourhoods a better place to live in. The EU will continue to support such actions that preserve the Palestinian identity of East Jerusalem and while shedding light on and responding to a policy of marginalization and negligence.''
“I am so excited to participate in a global clean-up campaign and help make my city, Jerusalem, a cleaner place,” said Sawsan from Terra Sancta High School as she continued picking up the trash close to her school in the Old City.
“I have seen photos for small kids just like me clean the streets of Jerusalem last year and wanted to be part of this, and here I am!” said Samer excitingly, who is a student from Hasan Al Ashhab School in Al Ram.
The collected trash was sorted into environmentally-friendly bags, whereas recyclables will be utilized to create green works of art. The art works will be presented later in a public exhibition in East Jerusalem.
The European Union supports projects that reinforce the resilience of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The EU funds this activity under the EU East Jerusalem Programme which is a multi-sectoral investment with a budget that has grown to over 12 million Euros annually. The programme covers areas and themes including education, health, social inclusion, private sector development, community empowerment, and human rights. Through this programme, the EU has worked consistently with Palestinian as well as international partner organizations to support the development of a vibrant and diverse civil society in East Jerusalem.
On 21 of September 2019 millions of people across the globe will unite to clean up the world and raise awareness of the problems caused by mismanaged waste. Last year, 17 million people in 158 countries took part of World Cleanup Day. It was the biggest civic action in human history, where 88,500 tons of wastes were collected.
This year, World Clean-up Day coincides with the International Day of Peace. We strongly believe that a clean world may help significantly to reduce conflict and wars over resources. A clean world can be a first step towards a peaceful world.
Website : https://www.worldcleanupday.org/
The Office of the European Union Representative
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958); Inas Abu Shirbi (02 541 5 859, 0599 673 957)