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CMS mission partners lead ecology project in Lebanon

School children in Lebanon are taking part in a project to look at an ecologically sustainable future.

Church Mission Society mission partners Amy and David Roche have joined together with the British Embassy, the British Council and the Al Shouf Cedar Biosphere Reserve in the Chouf District of Lebanon, to create and run the project with local school children.
Backed by the Lebanese Education Minister, the project involved an essay writing competition across 110 schools from different faith communities.

Rev David Roche with the Lebanese children

Each student was asked to imagine the future of an ecologically sustainable Lebanon and the winners were invited to Al Shouf Cedar Biosphere Reserve for a day of activities including the ceremonial planting of new trees. More than 300 pupils attended the day, which concluded with a celebration at the nearby Druze palace.
CMS mission partner and leader of All Saints’ Anglican Church in Beirut, Rev David Roche, explained how the day, which took place at the weekend, panned out.

“After the children arrived at the reserve they were joined by the Lebanese Minister for Education, Marwan Hamade, Hugo Shorter, the UK’s Ambassador to Lebanon, and Suheil Dawani, Anglican Archbishop from the Diocese of Jerusalem. Awards were given for the best entries from Grades Six, Seven and Eight, and the winners presented their essays to Marwan Hamade, the Minister for Education.”

Al Shouf Cedar Biosphere reserve

Following the presentation of awards the children had the opportunity to walk the Queen Elizabeth II Trail and take part in an interactive workshop led by staff from the Cedar Reserve Staff, before planting trees themselves, to represent new life and a better future.
David Roche added: “The Lebanese national curriculum does not currently include a component to do with caring for the environment, but the team at the Biosphere Reserve were so excited by this new initiative, they are planning to turn this eco-project into an annual event.”

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