A Pakistani School being declared the best Global School in South Asia for its innovative project on water conservation and organic farming at the UN climate conference in Dubai on Friday.
The school is operated by the Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) and was competing for the prize against two other finalists from India and Bangladesh.
Two young representatives of the trust were present at the gathering at the Expo City in Dubai where UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented the award.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize honours the legacy of UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by rewarding small and medium enterprises, non-profit organisations, and high schools addressing health, food, energy, water and climate-related challenges.
KORT School and College of Excellence, established in 2016, is located in Azad Kashmir and provides education, boarding facilities, food, clothing, and medical care to over 500 orphaned children affected by the devastating earthquake. They recently opened another school in Swabi, with a capacity to house 450 children. The organisation has been committed to supporting orphaned children for several years.
One of the students, 19-year-old Kinza Bibi, emphasized the importance of teaching children at the school how to conserve clean water.
The founding chairman, Chaudhry Mohammed Akhtar, stated that the prize money would be utilised for projects related to clean water and organic farming in rural areas.
This year, the 11 winners of the prize, chosen by a panel of jury members in September, received a total prize fund of $3.6 million for their innovative and impactful solutions across various categories including health, food, energy, water, climate action, and global high schools. Their pioneering solutions aim to transform lives and accelerate environmental change worldwide.
The prize has been awarded to 106 recipients in the last 15 years to positively impact the lives of 384 million people worldwide.
“Our project is on water conservation because, in 2025, clean drinking water will finish in Pakistan,” Sumaiya Bibi, 19, told an English newspaper after receiving the award on behalf of the trust.
After losing her parents in the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan’s Kashmir region, she found a sense of direction by focusing on climate-related projects.
“We want to set up water filtration plants and sensor taps in our school to minimize water wastage,” she said.
“We also want to set up a kitchen garden in our school through organic farming so that the children can get nutrition from the organically grown food.”
Kinza Bibi, another 19-year-old student at the education institute in Kashmir who also represented the trust at the event said: “We want the children at the school to learn how to preserve clean water.”