December 11, 2009

Climate Justice FAST: Stories from the Conference of Youth last weekend

In the opening ceremony three people were introduced to us; all three of them were part of a project called ‘Climate Justice Fast’ and had been fasting since the Barcelona talks: this was their 30th day. Later on, one of the three, Sara, was in my ‘open space’ discussion group. We asked Sara to tell her story, and despite her modest reluctance, she agreed to.

Together with a few other people Sara had travelled overland from the TUNZA conference in South Korea in August to the intercessional talks in Bangkok in September. From Bangkok they travelled over land to the next intercessional talks in Barcelona by November, where she started her fast, and finally travelled here to Copenhagen. It took a lot of time, but all along the way they met with youth activists, sharing stories and inspiration. Sara is continuing to fast now and today is her 35th day of fasting. The fast will end on the last day of the Copenhagen talks.

Later on, to finalise the session, we went around the circle of ten or so people, and each person shared a few words on why they were here, and what inspired them in their work. There were a few that were particularly memorable, such as Sara's. She talked about her childhood; how she had been raised to always be very appreciative of nature and would make jam from wild berries, collect mushrooms…she got so much from nature. One day when she was five it was snowing and she made a snowball. She wanted to eat it, and was putting it to her mouth when her aunt stopped her and threw the snowball onto the ground. They had just learned in school that snow was only very cold water, so she was confused about why she couldn’t eat the snow. Her aunt explained that it was because all the cars nearby made it poisonous to eat. So she decided to work to change things so that one day it would be safe for her own children to eat snow. As the years went by she realised there might not even be any snow left for her children to eat.



  1. That's really quite sad... you read children's stories of little kids eating snow, catching snowflakes on their tongue, and to think that won't be possible in a few years... sad sad sad...
    I feel privileged having had so much nature around me growing up.... but it saddens me that every few months that I do get back home the air seems more muckier... and that all the colours I used to see are slowly turning grungy.... or... disappearing altogether....

  2. Your feedback mechanism is Great..I am Inspired.

  3. I am supportive to all youth engagement and therefore say bravo to the Kenyan Youth ..

    The real hope for change lies with the youth.

    Jean Ives Bonzi

  4. Wonderful activities from the Kenyan Youth initiative .. If all the youths around Africa get involoved just like our counterpart in Kenya --- then collectively we can really make a difference ..

    Dr. Aminu Zakari.
    Director. Centre For Climate Change and Environmental Studies.
    No. 5 Elbe Close.. Minister's Hill.
    Panama Street.
    Abuja, Nigeria
    P.O.Box, 19081.
    Tel: +234 8038213028

  5. you are not just the leaders of tomorrow but the change agents. strive to make things better than now

  6. We can definitely make a difference....yes! With this fighting spirit, yeah!

  7. Its Wonderful, Its Super Green lets Keep up the Fire burning.......