(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A total of 280 students from across the UAE set a world record in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday by attending the "largest environmental sustainability lesson".
The event was organised by Zayed Future Energy Prize at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and the 30-minute lecture was presented by Illac Angelo Diaz, executive director of Liter of Light, who won the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2015 for lighting up thousands of homes in Philippines using solar energy.
"You have successfully set a Guinness world record. A large environmental sustainability lecture was never attempted before," Samer Khallouf, adjudicator from the Guinness World Records said, announcing the Zayed Future Energy Prize's official entry into the record book.
Khallouf also presented the official certificate confirming the record to Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
In the 30-minute lecture, Diaz highlighted how young people can reduce energy poverty by finding innovative solutions to a more sustainable future. To practise what was being preached, Diaz and his team rolled up their sleeves to help students assemble 2,400 solar lanterns in less than 30 minutes using a bottle and a solar battery.
"These lamps that you assemble now will be sent to refugee camps in Yemen or Syria. It will light up hundreds of houses. When you do it, you will realise how easy it is make it, and also make a difference in the world," Diaz told the students.
"These 280 students will be the ambassadors of light in future. This is not just a record breaking attempt. Today's event sends a powerful message of hope to young people around the UAE and the world about the difference they can make in addressing global sustainability challenges."
The solar lanterns were also used to create a unique light installation in tribute to Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's founding father, whose birth centenary is being celebrated across the UAE in 2018.
"It was an eye-opening experience. I have never assembled a solar lamp. I did not know it was this easy and quick. I think I am going to share this knowledge with others," said 9th grade Emirati student Zara Al Nuami.
Radhika Mathur, an Indian student said the event is a shot in the arm for students to take sustainable initiatives. "It can begin with switching off the plugs and lighst when we are not using it," said Mathur.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize each year recognises the outstanding contributions from companies, schools, non-profit groups and individuals in the field of renewable energy and sustainability.
Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.