Climate change is real, it affects my life every day. I live it, my peers live it too.
How can the world expect me to go to school- to progress in life- after hours searching for water, crossing gullies under a scorching sun?
For years now, my home in Zimbabwe is experiencing one of its worst drought ever. Dams are drying, crops are failing, there are extreme heat waves.
Honestly, how can children live, learn and grow in such an environment?
Anthropogenic activities on a global scale are a major player in propelling climate change, however children are the least responsible for it and the most vulnerable to its negative impacts.
Climate change is a major obstacle to the development objectives we have set globally to protect our rights. Our rights as children are not meant to be theorized, they are meant to be lived.
“Our rights as children are not meant to be theorized, they are meant to be lived.”
Many world leaders recognise climate change as an urgent challenge. They know that we need united international commitment to tackle it. But do they really know the major risks it poses to the lives and rights of children?
Since I was ten I have made it my core objective to educate my peers and global leaders about the changing climate through educational videos, outreach campaigns and peer education sessions. Currently, I am a UNICEF Youth Climate Ambassador for Zimbabwe and a member of my school press club where I write articles about the environment and climate.
We must take a child-centred approach to climate action, to ensure a sustainable future for everyone, including children and future generations. And if a partnership is needed to make this happen- I am doing my part, are you?
“We must take a child-centred approach to climate action, to ensure a sustainable future for everyone, including children and future generations.”
Nkosilathi Nyathi is a 17-year-old environmental activist and innovator from Zimbabwe.