MANILA, Philippines — The Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development (WAND)
Foundation in the Philippines recently bagged the 2011 Raanan Weitz International
Competition on Integrated Development Projects held at the Weitz Center for
Development Studies in Rehovot, Israel.
According to the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv, Elmer V. Sayre and Jed Christian Z.
Sayre of the WAND Foundation received the award for their project titled “Using the
Rehovot Approach to Close the Loop Between Sanitation, Food Security and
Biodiversity Improvement as a Means to Alleviate Extreme Poverty: The WAND
Sayre said the project was a product of intense study and research taking into account
the available technologies in Israel and linking or combining it with the Philippine
approach and experience.
“The design of the project focuses on ecological sanitation and the prevention of the
spread of diseases, including the conservation of water, minimizing pollution and
conservation of valuable fertilizer,” Sayre said in a statement.
He also noted that the project aims to respond to the challenges of climate change,
which has steadily drawn international attention every year, particularly the effects of the
El Niño phenomenon.
The award was given on the occasion of the 13th year since the death of Professor
Raanan Weitz, who was the founder of Weitz Center for Development Study and a
leader of the Israeli and International Development Planning.
Charge d’Affaires Ferdinand Flores, who attended the ceremonies and witnessed the
conferment of the award to the winners, noted that Filipinos are born to excel in their
chosen career, field of expertise and studies.
“Winning this award is a testament that Filipino intelligence is indeed being recognized
around the world, and this time, in Israel,” said Flores. “The embassy hopes that there
will be more students coming from the Philippines who would provide award winning
project designs at the Weitz Center.
The Weitz Center for Development Studies opened the 6th Integrated Development
Projects Competition. We called professionals from developing countries to submit
projects, which reflect the spirit of the “Rehovot Approach” formulated by Prof. Raanan
Weitz. This year the competition focused on “Extreme Poverty Alleviation”.
The Professional Committee of the Raanan Weitz Competition 2011 has recommended
the Weitz Center to select Elmer V. Sayre and Jed Christian Z. Sayre from the WAND
Foundation in the Philippines, with their project for First Place. Project Presentation and
award granting will be held in a ceremony on December 19, 2011 in Rehovot, Israel.