Posted on July 14, 2017

An innovative sustainability start-up has been shortlisted as a Challenge 22 finalist by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) for its creativity in redistributing surplus food to those in need.

Wa’hab is the brainchild of Qatar-based entrepreneur Wardah Mamukoya. It has progressed to the second round of calls as the programme continues its commitment to find the Arab world’s leading innovations, which could one day enhance the experience of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar The SC recently announced an impressive list of finalists, which includes start-ups from across the MENA region and projects which range from emergency response systems to an app which guides spectators through the entire tournament experience. Wa’hab is the first organisation to develop a strategic response to re-distribute surplus food, by using technology and social media to promote the use of excess unmarketable food, leading to a reduction in waste.

For founder, Wardah Mamukoya, however, the motivation behind Wa’hab wasn’t just about sustainability. “We are thrilled and excited about being selected as finalists in a prestigious competition like Challenge 22,” she said. “Since Wa’hab had been positively reviewed by expert panel of judges at various stages of Challenge 22, this gives us much faith in our project. “Though at one point, this was only a dream, it is now something that benefits the lives of many people around us and if implemented the right way, we feel that Wa'hab can have a huge impact in our society.” “The recent embargo on Qatar by its neighbours, has only increased the significance of such an initiative to connect food to those in need.”

The organisation’s recent Ramadan campaign was one of their most successful initiatives to date. Over 20 tonnes of non-perishable essential food items were collected from leading food distributors, with additional donations from schools, and sports events including BE Basketball, organised by Force Sports. With the assistance of volunteers, Wa’hab distributed over 600 Ramadan gift boxes to beneficiaries in workers’ accommodations. Large quantities of food items and used clothes were also distributed to families in need, with assistance from partners including RAF, Eid Charity and organisations such as the Pakistan Welfare Forum.

Thousands of Iftar meals were also provided, through donations by restaurants such as Wagamama. With influential supporters on board, such as social media personality and food aficionado, Kim Wyatt (a.k.a. Mama Baba Ganoush) who recently joined the team as a Co-Director and Chief Information Officer, the organisation is only set to get bigger and better.

source: The Peninsula