October 28, 2010

Could Kenyan youth be the resource that the government needs to respond to climate change?

Could Kenyan youth be the resource that the government needs to respond to climate change?

"National Youth Conference on Climate ChangeInstitute for Peace & Conflict Resolution, Central Area, Abuja 28th October, 2010 Climate chan..." http://nigerianyouthclimatecoalition.blogspot.com/2010/10/national-youth-conference-on-climate.html

Yes!

As the National Youth Conference on Climate Change is ongoing in Kenya, our colleagues in Nigeria is also holding a similar conference.

Its exciting to see the energies of youth being appreciated and upscaled in different parts of the African continent. The youth are showcasing their efforts to respond to climate change in their societies including practical projects on ground, policy and advocacy work and capacity building.

Prof. Naituli, of the Multi Media University, and MESA (Mainstreaming Education for Sustainability in African Universities) representative for the East Africa, is at the conference. "We need to ask why people do things that lead to unsustainability before we prescribe to them our half baked solutions on what to do. That’s what learning is all about: interaction to produce Education or Sustainable Development to all", he says.

He is the advisor to the Inter Varsity Environment Network (IVEN) one of the networks that supported the founding of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) in 2006.

Dr. Ali Kaka, the IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) Regional Director for the East and Southern Africa, also attending the conference mentioned that the Union and other partners are working very hard to create a climate finance mechanism to aid in adaptation and mitigation. Young people should take up this opportunity. "We will not be young for ever, decisions made today will affect us and our children so we have to decide wisely", he concluded.
Achieng Abura, a renown Kenyan musician, and the WWF Goodwill Ambassador, also present at the youth conference, stressed that everyone should plant a tree during their birthday and grow it.

The Coast Chapter of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC Kenya) was sharing how they will be launching an eco friendly currency form called Eco Pesa in collaboration with the Eco Ethics and International NGO based in Mombasa.
The national youth conference on climate change happening this week is the third one of its kind to be held in Kenya. The first one was held in Matuu organized and supported by the Norwegian Church Aid Kenya which brought together over 20 Kenyan youth organizations. The second conference was held in 2009 November at the Sportsview Hotel in Nairobi which was co- organized by the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Kenyan Young Greens, Matuu Network, Koch FM among other youth groups under the Kenyan Climate Youth Network.

This year's conference is remarkable with more youth organizations being involved in the planning of the conference and with support from the Office of the Prime Minister, Oxfam GB and Norwegian Church Aid. A Back to Eden programme and a video conference will be the climax of this great conference.

With all this momentum and action growing among the Kenyan youth in the past 5 years, it just gets me thinking about the potential that we need to exploit and the probable impacts we would expect from positively influencing the actions of young Kenyans.

My gratitude goes to the Office of the Prime Minister, i still remember that one day they called me up for a meeting with them to plan on how Kenyan youth would be supported towards building their capacity on climate change. Much appreciation to Mr. Alusa and Patrick who have worked very closely with the Organizing commitee to ensure the success of the conference.
I am specifically moved by the Mully Children’s family http://www.mullychildrensfamily.org/ , where a teenage girl, Virginia, dedicated herself to go beyond the borders and initiate a climate change club within the home. She teaches her peers and the children how to respond to climate change.

The Back to Eden Tree Planting Project organized by the 3rd Movement ( a Christian based movement of over 20 Kenyan universities) will receive support of seedlings from the home as a result of Virginia's efforts.

As well, I am touched by the commitment of George Auko, the Chief Coordinator of AYICC Kenya. He is dedicating the whole of 2010 to work on building the youth movement in Kenya. This is a voluntary position he is holding but he has been able to immensely influence hundreds of young people to create and take action of climate change and differentiated levels. Having mentored him into leadership since 2009, I see a lot of potential in him to continue leading the youth movement even beyond Kenya.

One more young person who inspires me is Isaiah Kito, working for the Norwegian Church Aid, which for over 3 years now, have dedicated their time and resources to support the capacity building of young people in Kenya especially in climate change, leadership and governance, I salute you Isaiah, we have come this far from you.

Finally i salute the organizing committee for the NYCCC in Kenya, i know it has been hard for you to make it this far, and it just shows me how young people are committed to see change happen- and the change they really need.

That’s why my question still stands? Could the Kenyan youth be the resource that the government needs to address the country’s development challenges (Including climate change?)

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6 comments :

  1. It is indeed great to be part of this group, what makes me happy is to see the high energy of the youth to get real solutions that will help fight climate change, the zeal and thirst for knowledge is amazing, more so the desire to get involved in practical projects as well as advocacy and awareness work in the country. Am really jazzed with the Kenyan youth. My highlights for the day was the Eco-pesa project and the solar project which is a real practical solution. Well done guys!

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  2. Yes, to answer your question. YES indeed.

    Kenyan youth are the resource the government needs in steering forth the Climate agenda. One such Kenyan youth is Ms. Grace Mwaura through Ms. Mwaura's passionate and enthusiastic engagement on climate change issues in Kenya, the government and in particular the office of the prime minster in Kenya opened the door to partnering with the youth in organizing the national youth conference on climate change.

    Speaking at the Kenyan National youth conference Mr. Alex Alusa the Climate Change Adviser in the office of the Prime Minister stated " As I listened to Ms. Grace Mwaura give a talk on the role of youth in climate matters in Kenya and what action they are doing, I was impressed with her passion and energy to make a change and its from that talk that we sort to get involved and partner with them"

    It is from this simple action that led the way to have the government partner with the youth in organizing the 3rd National Youth conference on climate change. Indeed it is the youth who will be the accountability partners for the government even when it comes to implementation of projects in climate change.

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  3. Thanks Caroline! I didn't know that my presentation at http://www.ecsea.org/ was such an impact, but true, its fater the conference that i met with Mr. Alusa. I am equally excited by this new wave of youth action in Kenya.

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  4. Congratulations to all of you! for Flying the Kenyan flag high and creating a platform for harnessing the endless Youth energies and potentials for promoting improved livelihoods for all in a clean, healthy environment.

    We at Kenya e-Learning centre are willing to offer our support in building youth capacities in environment and climate change issues through e-Learning.

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  5. @ Gakiria, thank you for your support, i will get in touch with you and see how you can support the youth in this area of capacity building. Its quite crucial.

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  6. "We need to ask why people do things that lead to unsustainability before we prescribe to them our half baked solutions on what to do. That’s what learning is all about: interaction to produce Education or Sustainable Development to all",
    thank you Prof. Naituli for this instruction.

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