news-icon 29/06/2021

Discover the 10 selected teams who are enabling youth empowerment and waste management with their solutions as part of the Swiss – Middle East Circular Economy for Youth Initiative (SMECEYI).

Avoiding food waste with Junket


The Swiss Pavilion in partnership with Swissnex has launched the Swiss – Middle East Circular Economy for Youth Initiative (SMECEYI). This initiative brings together students from universities across the Middle East region to develop innovative solutions for a cleaner environment, promoting the circular economy and encouraging youth empowerment.

Mentors from Swiss universities and companies are working hand in hand with the teams, facilitating exchanges and strategic connections for future collaborations. Best projects will be exposed at the Swiss Pavilion and team members will be invited to take part in additional activities, such as workshops and joint panels, leading to unique networking opportunities.

Finalists will be announced during summer and will be given opportunities to further develop their project, in partnership with our judges, mentors and local incubators. Let’s discover the 10 selected teams who are enabling youth empowerment and waste management with their solutions.



Although there is enough food produced annually to feed everyone, one-third of it is wasted. Junket is an application that aims to reduce food waste alongside reducing hunger for whoever cannot afford food. This will be done in two ways. The first is to resell the food that remains in the hospitality sector at a lower price that is still profitable. The second is to take food that people would like to donate and redistribute. We will focus on providing online services of delivering food and guiding people on how they share in order to reduce food waste, improve employability, and self-reliance. We advocate to craft an improved quality of life without harming the environment by having responsible CSR, therefore we will use different strategies, marketing, business analytics, and technology for creating a well-organized brand globally.

For funding, our project is developing under the umbrella and guidance of the SMECEYI program along with other strategic partners for creating different sources of financing and others like go fund me, this will not only create visibility for our brand but also help to raise funds to pay for rentals, employee’s labor, packaging, and other costs. A business Instagram profile can also give our brand visibility and allow us to gain a following of individuals who can support us through donations and sharing of posts. The food will be stored in the rental trucks with automatic climate control and rear air conditioning. We will enhance youth employability by signing a contract with Universities  so that students can experience internships with our brand. In general, our aim is to tackle food waste from big markets using youth and technology and to eradicate food waste on all sides of the supply chain.




This initiative aims at developing unique, innovative solutions for a cleaner environment, promoting the circular economy, and encouraging youth empowerment. Our motive to join this program was to bring a solution that reduces food waste and increases the employability or job availability for youth. As the youth of today, it is our responsibility that the children of tomorrow have a healthy environment to call home. Thus, we must consume our resources efficiently, develop sharing economies, encourage recycling, and promote social inclusion to eliminate the wasted surplus. Junket is one of the best applications in the coming years aiming to achieve this.



What we like about Switzerland is kind of very broad question and differs from person to person. Personally, we love the fact that Swiss is the eye and image of chocolates in the world. Also, Switzerland is one of the most peaceful and beautiful countries in the world. We respect Switzerland’s efforts to sustain the environment through initiatives such as the 2050 Energy strategy. We believe to save the earth we need to work together and SMECEYI is a great start for many needed future collaborations. We hope to learn more from our time with Switzerland.




  • Sirak Fisseha is currently enrolled as a senior year student at UAE University, and he specializes in the field of Management Information Systems. He focused on topics like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Political Economy, and E-commerce. He participated in many different programs that stimulate the innovations and creative mindset of our youth society. He loves reading books, playing basketball, and traveling places. His role in this project is helping the team idea to be viable in the real business world, visualization of our business information, and other business analysis. He describes himself as curious and self-motivated to learn.


  • Hala Khalid Alshadafan has graduated with honors from UAEU’s Petroleum Engineering Department and is currently pursuing an MSc in the same field. Her undergraduate years have been spent balancing course work, extracurriculars, working part-time, and contributing to UAEU’s student community. Courses covered include Thermodynamics, Programming, Engineering & Strength of Materials, Creative & Innovative Thinking, Safety & Environmental Impact as well as Principals of Environmental Science. She took part in the 2017 SURE PLUS program, the 2018 SPE student sustainability challenge and helped organize the 2018 Annual Research and Innovation Conference. As a 2021 master’s student, she spends her days researching and brainstorming how to innovate the most energy-efficient systems.


  • Zainab Mohamed Alhaddad is a third-year Chemical Engineering student at UAEU. She is a member of the university’s CHME society as well as AIChE and she is going to be their next leader. She strives to be a successful engineer and entrepreneur through innovation and creativity. Zainab has a passion for reading, drawing, and traveling. She hopes to travel the world one day and meet people from different cultures and try different cuisines. She also wants to learn different languages because she believes it will help her understand cultures better. Currently, she is awaiting to get accepted into a Minor in Entrepreneurship at UAEU.


  • Archana Mathew is currently a Master’s student in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at UAE University in Al Ain, UAE. She received her education from Mar Ivanios College in Kerala, India with a Bachelor’s degree in Botany and Biotechnology. During her middle childhood years, in her home country, India, the woods became a classroom where her observations, explorations, and experiments with nature became more focused and intentional. She realized that she had responsibility for taking care of it and decided to acquire a strong foundation for research in the subject such as learning to apply the principles of biology and science, to a broad spectrum of problems related to the environment and agriculture using biotechnology. She got selected at the Kerala state-level “Evaluation of Young Innovation Programme” for bonafide research work “Production of Bioplastic from Food waste” when doing her Bachelors. She and her team are currently working on a project which would help in food waste management and youth empowerment for Swiss Pavilion Expo 2021 Dubai.


  • Laila Ismail is a 4th-year undergraduate biology student at UAEU. She is currently 20 years old and is majoring in cell and molecular biology; she is also minoring in economics. She took part in multiple expo-related events such as expo boot camp at UAEU and the future of education Italian pavilion challenge. Laila’s interests are not limited to one facet hence her involvement in a variety of fields. Even though her passion lies within biology, she is in fact more infatuated with learning. This explains her continuous involvement in research among Ph.D. students and professors of the biological field as well as the economics field. Laila continues to look for opportunities that enhance and add to her knowledge in order to solve problems from multiple dimensions.


  • Aya Abdullah Rahimi is a student at the United Arab Emirates University and she is studying at the College of Science with a major in Molecular Cell Biology, and a minor in English Literature. She is also a member of the management of the Emirati Spanish Club at the Emirates University. She has a lot of participations inside and outside the university, and from within the university, such as volunteering in laboratories and volunteering in some exhibitions at the university, and she is a member of Aoun’s team for charity. While outside the university, she has participated in many summer camps and programs such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Program and Dubai Police white points program and summer camp at Dubai Ports. Because of Aya’s passion and love for learning, this led to a multiplicity of her interests in several areas, not only in this field, and she always strives to develop her skills in communication, cooperation, organization, and the use of these skills in life.


  • Nada Alyassi is a 21 years old Emirati student. She is studying at UAE university in the College of Science. Her main major is CMB “Cellular Molecular Biology“ and her minor is “Family Study “ which is more related to the sociology field. She feels that she is lucky enough to be so a passionate student and have a wide imagination that provides her with many benefits on different life angles. She always looks for hidden reasons and searches for what is behind the scenes, so you can say that she is an inquisitive person she improved this through her major. This Swiss program is a genius idea that will benefit and develop our society. It’s suitable for her
    to invest all my her energy into helping the word. Because she is one of them and really feels how this will be a giant challenge. She have faith-full that each one of us can help and face this challenge and all together will make a change. She really wants to be part of this and add something even if it’s small, sometimes small things make a huge difference.