We had the pleasure to interview Mishal Faraz, an influencer and water ambassador who is only 15 years old. She was also the senior winner of the Water Alliance UAE RE-NEW Challenge, an event sponsored by Droople to empower young people to think creatively and positively about the future of water. Mishal will represent UAE amongst 41 countries competing for the 2022 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) at World Water Week August 24 (vote here for "My Water Bottle Project"). Her school's project has contributed to educating positive impact for climate protection by switching bottled to tap water solutions. 92% of students unanimously agreed this project helped them learn about water security.
I believe that the dedication and willingness to give back to the planet is a lifelong commitment. Thanks to initiatives and challenges such as the RE-NEW Challenge from Water Alliance UAE, the youth have a voice and offer ideas that resound with our generation.
Mishal Faraz has been interested in protecting the planet (especially water, which is becoming increasingly scarce) since she was a child. Her biggest inspiration has been her parents, who have always supported her in her projects, enrolled her in associations and taken her to different events. At the age of 7, she became interested in recycling and organized campaigns in her school. There are many initiatives in her country (UAE) that give young people a voice, so she decided to become an ambassador for the Water Alliance, which aims to find solutions to conserve water. She has been part of it for two years and it has helped her a lot to develop her knowledge on the subject.
Despite her young age, she has many ambitions, both ecological and professional. She wants to join one of the best universities in her country and to be active in ecology, which she considers a lifelong commitment. Regarding the future of the planet, she hopes that by 2050there will be many advances in terms of water conservation and sustainable development.However, she is concerned about plastic pollution in the oceans, which is developing in a worrying way, but she remains optimistic about the future of the planet. She also has a lot of confidence in water conservation and monitoring technologies (such as Droople's fountainOS), whose impact she considers to be very effective. She believes that these technologies allow us to change our habits for the good of the planet, and even our way of life. She also believes that these technologies could help prevent water scarcity, even if it is not enough. She has also heard of "revolutionary technologies" that can extract and purify groundwater and combat its pollution. She is keen to learn more about the subject and help find a solution in the future.
When people can physically see the amount of water they are consuming in figures, whether it's represented through the number of litres, or the amount of time spent with the tap on, or the amount of money that is added on to the water bill, seeing a tangible number really helps people become self-aware of their water footprint, even more so when they realize how many other people there are just like them using the same amount of water, and the cumulative effect that has on the planet
She is certain that anyone can make a difference, especially in the long term if this impact is“cumulative”. The young generation of which she is a part can have a great impact if they are united in making their voices heard. So, the importance is therefore determination and having convincing demands. Even though all the studies contradict each other on the origin of global warming, Mishal is certain that human activity (pollution, fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions) is the major cause of this "intense change".However, she believes that it is possible to stop this warming if we act now and effectively.
In terms of activism, Mishal is very active. Winning the RENEW challenge has opened many doors for her. She was even invited to the Swedish pavilion at Expo 2020 to talk about her project, and later received a training course with a professional voice coach. She also has mentors who help sprout inspiration, especially when she implemented her ideas in her school as a pilot project, which was unanimously well received and will be taken to the next level.
But think of millions of like-minded individuals campaigning for the same cause as you - the cumulative impact will be huge.