News.Feb 13, 2020

My Stockholm Junior Water Prize experience

The author talks about his experience during the World Water Week in Stockholm.

Zamir Borojevic

“The World Water Week in Stockholm was a wonderful experience. As the winner of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Switzerland (Swiss Junior Water Prize), I’m grateful for having the opportunity to have participated in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. I didn’t expect to even win a special prize at Swiss Youth in Science but as I realized that my research got its unexpected recognition, I was overjoyed. Soon after receiving the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Switzerland (Swiss Junior Water Prize) preparations began. Thanks to Karla Schlie, my National Organizer, I was provided with every information and support I needed as well as had the opportunity to go to a coaching session for my interview in Stockholm at Skat Consulting Ltd. I expected an event with way less activities, less connecting between the finalists and less fun while attending the World Water Week than it actually was. I’m so glad to have been proven wrong.

At first, I was a bit skeptic as to how things will go and how comfortable I will feel in this new environment, but these worried thoughts vanished in a blink of an eye. We were 56 finalists from 35 different countries, from different cultures and different lifestyles. This didn’t hold us back to bond throughout this week. We grew to a big family, due to different activities, same mindsets and having fun at any time. Most of us arrived on Saturday and prepared for the interviews on Sunday and Monday. Depending on which day we had our interviews, we did a city tour through the old town of Stockholm and got some free time in the city. Tuesday morning, we visited Xylem’s office and got an incredible insight in what they’re doing, how their plans in the future look like and what major concerns they have about water.

In the evening was the big ceremony. We met HRH Crown Princess Victoria, who also awarded the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, we represented our country and went to an after party after the ceremony and dinner. The KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm was our next destination on Wednesday and in the afternoon the royal banquet awaited us. It was a thrilling experience attending the award ceremony for the Stockholm Water Prize and eating dinner in the Golden Hall with the King and Queen as well as the Stockholm Water Prize Winner Dr Jackie King. But our journey was not over yet. Thursday was the day where the Falkenmark young scientist symposium on Climate Change took place, where we could meet many water experts and listen to their message to the youth. Later that day we ate dinner at the Brazilian Chambers of Commerce. After all of those activities, there was only one thing left for us: the last party and dance at our hotel until the first few members of our new family had to leave for their flight. My favorite memory of this whole journey isn’t connected to a single occasion but to all times I could bond with my new and amazing friends I could make with whom I am still in contact.

The whole week opened our eyes to different water related problems around the world and what solutions could prove useful in the future, but that is not everything. The memories we created in this week, the people we met, connections we made and the family we built together has taken a special place in my heart. I’m honoured to have been the Swiss finalist for the 2019’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize.”