13 Aug Rising heroes: International youth day
ESS Utility explores this year’s International Youth Day, the theme for 2020 and a few of Greta’s contemporaries helping to lead the charge for climate change.
Eye on the ball
Yesterday was International Youth Day and the theme this year is Youth Engagement for Global Action. While the world was gripped by COVID-19, climate change prevention was pushed to the wayside.
Fortunately, institutions like the European Commission and the UK government have now resumed the course to net zero with renewed vigour.
However, it bears mentioning that while the pandemic raged across the earth, our youth did not lose sight of the larger threat. Right up until March 2020, Greta Thunberg was making speeches on the subject with many of her contemporaries continuing the charge elsewhere.
In honour of International Youth Day, ESS is celebrating some of Greta’s lesser-known contemporaries.
Seeds of Hope
Karida Niode is starting a food revolution in Indonesia. The Jakarta resident devised and founded the Grains & Seedlings for Neighbours initiative during lockdown. Alongside being a local Climate Reality Leader, Niode also acknowledged the difficulty low-income households were experiencing during the pandemic. As such, the initiative provides food sustainability to urban homes that might otherwise struggle.
Karida takes care of crop seeds like amaranth and bean sprouts until they germinate. She then collects these seedlings into care packages and delivers them to selected low-income households in her community. Karida maintains social distance throughout and even includes a few washable facemasks with every package.
The hope is that, alongside bolstering local food security, the initiative will raise awareness of food mileage and offset carbon emissions.
While Fridays for Future Uganda was inspired by the work of Greta Thunberg, a very different fire fuels Ugandan teenager Leah Namugerwa. Having witnessed first-hand as climate change ravaged her country with droughts and landslides. Leah began the Fridays for Future initiative in Uganda as a means to create solidarity among activists around the world. Given the Ugandan government’s harsh treatment of protestors, she recognised the need for support from outside their borders.
In addition to the Friday strike now sweeping across Uganda, Leah is also rallying for a ban on plastic bags.
Activism goes active
Shivam Singh’s resume reads more like an ultra-athlete than a climate activist, though he’d probably ask: Why pick one?
Based out of India, Shivam tied personal health to the health of the planet by leading marathons in honour of climate change awareness. Like Karida, Shivam is also a Climate Reality Leader and heads workshops on a weekly and monthly basis.
Shivam has also appeared at COP 21 and the UN Climate Change Summit as a youth representative. And at home he has acted as youth advisor for India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC.)
Back in April Shivam organised the, now global, Youth4Earth competition. He asked young people around the world to share short videos explaining their commitment to climate action.
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