BY STEVE EPHRAEM
CLIMATE Change is affecting many African societies. A lot is effort is being done to mitigate the problem the climate. Like in many case of emergencies or response, children are left out. But does the problem of climate change require only elderly people to solve it?
In Chipinge, Zimbabwe, a youth-led organisation named Refugee Coalition for Climate Action believes that engaging children and youths in climate action is very crucial. In all its programmes, children and youth constitute more than sixty percent of its target group.
On November 2, 2023, with support from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the organisation managed to hold a training workshop on climate change and the need to incorporate children and youth in climate action and also held a tree planting event which was documented by UNHCR.
From the presentation by Tongogara Refugee Camp’s Youth President, Jeannette Muhimundu, involving children and youth is securing the future as well as empowering them.
She revealed that by engaging children and youths in climate action, they will gain greater understanding of environmental issues and impacts of climate change.
“This knowledge helps them make informed decisions and take sustainable actions in their daily lives.
“When children and youths are involved in climate, they develop advocacy and leadership skills. They learn how to voice their concerns, communicate effectively and take action to influence policy makers, communities and peers.
“Engaging children and youths in climate action fosters a sense of environmental stewardship from a young age. This commitment to sustainability can have a long lasting impact as they grow into adults who actively contribute to climate change.
“Involving children and youths empowers them to become active participants in shaping their future and taking responsibility for the planet. It boosts their confidence, self-efficacy and ability to bring about change,” she said.
Children and youths often have fresh perspectives and imaginative ideas and by involving them in climate action, the world taps into their creativity and encourage new, innovative solution to environmental challenges.