It’s not too late to stop the effects of climate change. But we have to take action now.
Right now, world leaders are gathering in Paris for the COP21 conference on climate change – decisions made there will have crucial consequences for the future of the planet. Children and young people will be most affected by climate change, so it’s important their voices are heard loud and clear.
That’s why on Tuesday, 8 December, from 10am EST- 12pm EST (4pm – 6pm Paris time) two young people from Zambia and Zimbabwe will take over UNICEF’s global Twitter account to speak out on climate change and share their personal experiences about its impact on their communities. Both are participants in UNICEF’s digital mapping project on climate change, an empowerment and advocacy project you can learn more about in the video below.
Here’s how you can get involved in the takeover
Starting at 10 am EST/ 4pm Paris time the two participants will be given the reins to the global UNICEF Twitter account. You can read their personal narratives by following tweets on the UNICEF account or by following the hashtags #youthtakeover and #COP21 (You don’t have to have a Twitter account to do this!).
We invite you to retweet their words and spread their messages even wider to raise awareness about climate change. At the end of each story, you will have the chance to ask questions about how climate change is already impacting their daily lives.
After the takeover, we’ll capture the entire experience on Storify and make it available for all who weren’t able to make it live.
Who will be taking over @UNICEF on 8 December?
Andozile Simwinga grew up in a family of four in the northern part of Zambia, in a rural area called Mpika. He is a Youth Facilitator and Climate Change Ambassador for UNICEF Zambia as part of the Unite4Climate Zambia youth project. In these roles, Andozile teaches children and young people about climate change by visiting schools, and speaks out on the subject over the radio.
Tatiana, 15, from Zimbabwe
Tatiana Natalie Kondo from Harare, Zimbabwe is one of many youth mappers around the world who tackle environmental issues and the impact of disasters on communities with digital tools. She is a Junior Parliamentarian for the Harare East Constituency and Child Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce. Tatiana enjoys reading and writing, as well as performing poetry and speeches. When she grows up she aspires to be either a lawyer, because she’s passionate about justice, or a neurosurgeon, because she’s fascinated by the brain.
Gerrit Beger is Senior Advisor on Social Media and Digital Engagement in UNICEF’s Division of Communication in New York.