Youth News Archives - Earth Charter

Earth Charter Initiative Partners with FolkeCenter Chile

We are excited to announce our new partnership with Folkecenter Chile! Folkecenter, is an international NGO headquartered in Denmark now with two more offices in Africa and Chile. They have been working for a sustainable world with 100% renewable energies since 1983. Folkecenter Chile is located in Arica, Chile focused on giving workshops and trainings in green businesses, sustainable education, social reintegration and sustainable construction.

 
Earth Charter Youth, Elizabeth Ulloa and Nicole Ahumada, spearheaded the partnership in order to engage more Chilean youth with the Earth Charter. The partnership will seek to involve more youth from Arica in the Earth Charter Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics youth course, the Earth Charter Young Leaders Programme, and with the social media app, Mapting.

 
We are excited to contribute to increased youth engagement for a sustainable future in Arica, Chile! For more information please contact: YouthCoordinator@earthcharter.org

Folkecenter Chile LOGO GRANDE HORIZONTAL

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Earth Charter Initiative Partners with Greening Youth Foundation

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) based in Atlanta, Georgia to amplify efforts with the mission and work of the Earth Charter Youth Network.  The Greening Youth Foundation’s mission is to work with diverse, underrepresented young adults across the US to develop and nurture sustainability leaders and environmental GYFstewards. They do this through their environmental educational programme engaging local community members and working with land management agencies to provide internship opportunities for youth interested in conservation careers.

 

This partnership will seek to involve more youth across the United States in the Earth Charter Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics youth course, the Earth Charter Young Leaders Programme, a yearly joint webinar, and with the social media app, Mapting.  We will also work towards providing opportunities for GYF youth in study abroad programmes and internships here at the Earth Charter Secretariat.

We are excited to contribute to increased youth engagement in the US for a sustainable future! For more information contact: Youthcoordinator@earthcharter.org

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ECYL Start-Up Creates Ecotutu: A Solar-Powered Food Storage For Farmers

According to the 2016 Rockefeller Foundation report titled ‘YieldWise: How the World Can Cut Food Waste’, in developing countries, refrigeration is both expensive and inaccessible for millions of farmers who live in rural areas and have per capita income of less than US$2 per day. Today, this problem still persists and leads to spoilage rates as high as 45% for fruits and vegetables, and a total loss of $4 billion dollars in Africa annually says Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Ecotutu™ Prototype Design © 2019

Ecotutu™ Prototype Design © 2019


The Nigerian start-up RenewDrive has developed a scalable solution to fix this gap and help keep fruits and vegetables more fresh for a longer time.

Agriculture is a major driver of Africa’s economy. A large part of the population lives from this industry, according to the ILO, 57 per cent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is employed in agriculture. To put this in clearer perspective: more than half of the population work on smallholder farms or in families that operate subsistence farming. These two categories of farmers face major challenges in their day to day work – in particular the lack of sufficient storage facilities available for their crops, especially the ones that are perishable in nature. Lack of access to low-cost cooling solution prevents farmers from conveniently reaching end-markets. It deprives families of hard-earned money, and can lead to long term health and nutrition problems for the teeming population.

Greening Cold Chain To Cut Food Waste

The Global Opportunity Report of 2018 outlines recent advances in mobile refrigeration, for example the use of solar power, which is creating a revolution ‘that harnesses renewable energy to fix the broken cold chains’. To this end, Earth Charter Young Leader and Nigerian ecopreneur,  Babajide Oluwase , and his team at RenewDrive is pioneering a ‘pay-as-you-go’ (PAYG) storage service for fruit and vegetable farmers – combining low-cost, flexible payments option with solar-powered evaporation technology. It was initiated on the founders’ belief that PAYG model could create a leapfrog opportunity in energy access and address a huge market need – low-cost post-harvest storage. “By using solar energy we attempt to ‘green’ cold chains and make it very affordable for everyone” says Babajide.
To date, the team has conducted multiple iterations on product design, and field tests to prepare for eventual market entry by Q3 2019 in Nigeria. The managing team aims to expand across markets in Africa and Asia, with the ultimate goal of fixing the agricultural supply chain and provide low-cost storage access to 300,000 farmers by 2024.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/renewdrive/

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Mapting Workshop with SERES’ Annual Youth Encounter for Sustainability

SERES, an organization that cultivates youth leaders to create sustainable communities in Central America, held a Mapting workshop for 46 young leaders from Guatemala and El Salvador during their Ninth Sustainability Youth Encounter. The Youth Encounter took place from 26 November- 1 December, 2018 and the theme of the meeting was migration as a transversal axis: “Migration or Transformation: highlighting the youth potential.”_DSC0384 1

The Annual Sustainability Youth Encounter is a space built to invite young people from Guatemala and El Salvador, who are implementing community action plans and exercising their citizen muscle, to a 4.5-day camp to strengthen their plans with new tools and knowledge, and develop their personal leadership through the construction of networks. During the Mapting workshop, the youth were able to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals and how they relate to the Earth Charter Principles through the lens of social media.

 

Impressions from Participants

“I know a little bit about the SDGs, but the word MAPTING caught my attention, and I am pleased to share this platform with others since we can share a lot of information from my groups.”

“This app will help us as young people implementing many actions; it is a way to make our work known.”

“This is a tool that helps us meet people who are making changes at a global or community level.”

“It impresses me how we can be so far away and be able to see what changes there are in different countries of the world.”

We invite more organizations to share actions towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Mapting to expose their projects and to connect with other similar projects! To learn how to use Mapting, see our How-to-Use guide.

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Field Work, Responsibility, and the Earth Charter

Think of the place where you live in, the city you consider home. I’m sure that there are many positive things that you like: places, views, food, people. Now, if you had to think of a problem that this place is facing, what would it be and, what do you believe you could do to solve it?

 
This was the foundation of the exercise that was proposed to fifty students, between the ages of 16 and 18, of Colegio las Hayas located in Veracruz, Mexico. Many of their answers are part of common problems of every modern world city. Pollution, traffic jams, not enough social services, malnutrition in some sectors, inequality.

 
The following text, Field Work, Responsibility, and the Earth Charter (only available in Spanish), gathers the proposals made by these young minds that took the challenge of researching the problems of their choice, and designing a possible solution with three key elements. First, their knowledge and interest for the place they live in. Second, to propose their solution from the professional career they would like to study after graduating from high school. Third, to include the perspective of the Earth Charter, emphasizing at least one of its principles. The students created a written proposal in Spanish, and afterwards they made a translation to English with the idea of having more reach to their proposals and being able to connect with more people. Later, they explained their proposals in a brief video included at the end.

 
This project was carried out as a workshop to finish the “Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics” course given by the Earth Charter initiative that took place from January to June of 2018. The students not only put into practice academic skills learned throughout their school life, but also experienced the power to project themselves as active change agents in the transition of our societies into harmonios and inclusive communities with our environment.

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ECYL Writes on Concern for Extreme Waste of Resources Worldwide

As time passes, and some places in the world do not have access to drinkable water and edible food, often times those who do have access forget about these valuable treasures.

There is an island called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) which consists of 1,800,000,000,000 (1.8 trillion) pieces of plastic. The size of the plastic island is 600,000 sq. miles which is larger than Alaska or 3 times bigger than France. This caused 100,000 marine animals & more than 1,000,000 seabirds to die yearly because of eating plastic. It is estimated that in 2050, the total mass of all waste in the ocean will be equal to the mass of all fish.We do not only mean water and food, we mean everything that sustains life with the presence of nature. Animals, plants, water forms, land forms, light, air, and the list goes on, learning ways to save resources is not the only thing we can and should do, but it is the complete shift of mindset that has to be done by every individual.

 

This shift is the intention, interest, care, knowledge, habits, sincerity, efforts, time management, faith, and devotion that determines the true action that we take to care for the earth and make a change, because our actions are based on our intentions which comes from our mind. Excuses can never solve the way we and others live. We already know that our life relies on our actions – if we take care of our planet, it can take care of us (and if we don’t, it won’t).
So how do we start? We should start by realizing that if we are keen on it, we can take action for ourselves and the life of all living beings around us. We must ask ourselves a few questions: Is my comfort and waste not harming anyone? Can I live without resources from nature? Is everyone in the world getting the same resources as I get? Can I live if I am the only creature living on this planet? Can plants and animals live without us? Can we live without plants and animals? What if there was a sudden worldwide starvation and drought? Is it still worth it to waste? How long should I continue to waste? Maybe I can rely on others to make the change? If you rely on others, just keep in mind that others might also be relying and waiting for you to take action.
Whenever possible, with sincerity, following the common good ethics, and the purpose of sustaining ourselves and the world, we have to try to save things. Use more refillable, reusable, and biodegradable items. Throwing trash into their designated recycling containers. The most important thing is to preach what we practice and PRACTICE what we preach. We have to share our knowledge with others. It is very important that we make a checklist of the progress we make, and soon we must see improvements.
If we continue to live the way we are now, in a few years our finite resources would not be able to regenerate and therefore cannot sustain the life of the living beings. We have to choose either of these two options:

“The choice is ours:
– Form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or;
– Risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life.”
Earth Charter Preamble.

Always remember, “Everything you do comes back to you.”
Anonymous

Little constant actions is much better than actions with many large time gaps. A person may be the reason to change the world towards a better, peaceful and equal life for everyone.

Written by ECYL, Khadeejah bint Malik H.

Photo: https://abcnews.go.com/International/great-pacific-garbage-patch-massive-floating-island-plastic/story?id=53962147
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ECYL Recap of the Africa Youth Conference

From the 23-25 August 2018, youth from the 54 different African countries converged at the United Nations office in Nairobi, Kenya for the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Africa Youth Conference. The conference was initiated with the theme “Unleashing the potential of Youth in Africa – Prioritizing Investment in Youth Development in the Post 2015 Agenda.” Participants hailed from countries like Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. It was majorly sponsored by UN Women- Africa with participants coming from social entrepreneurship spaces. As an ECYL, I was excited to attend this forum as it was an inculcation and combination of the Earth Charter Principles.

The conference was covered through a varied set of sessions with different themes for each day. One of the sessions that related to social enterprises included a discussion on the position of youth in creation of successful enterprises. It covered challenges and opportunities that youth face through a discussion with different panelists. In the same way, we were also able to understand the importance of pitching initiatives. An example presented was the story of an innovative youth from Egypt who uses waste from farms in the rural areas of Egypt to create sustainable wood for construction in order to reduce deforestation. There was also another youth from Cameroon who uses innovative ways to reduce waste in the urban areas. This aligns with principle (5a) of the Earth Charter: Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make environmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives.

As a bonus, the conference had been occurring in alignment with UN day. As participants, we were invited to take part in the celebrations. It was graced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya, youngest pendoGovernor from Nandi County, UN heads in Africa and the UN person of the Year – Eliud Kipchoge. He was awarded for his finesse work in prevention spreading of HIV/AIDS in Kenya as well as being a pillar of inspiration to the youth. Some of the break-out sessions that I was privileged to attend were on “She leads Africa – The Dichotomy of Business for a Millennial which discussed the challenges women face in the work place or in consultancy spaces. I was also able to attend a conference on “Understanding and Breaking the Cycle of Technology Assisted Violence” which focused on the issues of cyber insecurity. These aligned with Principle (10) of the Earth Charter: Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.

On the last day, we had an interactive session on ‘HeforShe,’ where discussions were focused on Gender Based Violence, Gender Equity discrimination, harassment and abuse. The sessions had various panelists who had real experiences with these issues which gave a new twist to try in drawing solutions equally. A solution that came out was the education of children from a young age on the effects of Gender Based Violence. This is because we identified that the cycle begins at home, once a child is chastised or battered, they tend to carry the same trend to adulthood. In the same way, men and women go through various forms of violence and use revenge as a way to build their own self-assurance. These issues resonate with Earth Charter Principles 9c and 11:

Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations. -EC Principle 9c

Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity. -EC Principle 11

A testimony that brought about these talks was about Jaha Dukureh, an activitist from Gambia who was named the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Africa for the work she does against FGM and early child marriages. In the end, the team was presented with a youth for Action booklet which would be used in future youth sustainability movements.

All in all, the event was a change maker. I remember a statement mentioned that “Africa is the richest continent in the world in terms of resources, but the poorest in terms of growth.” Huge investments come to Africa each year from Multinational companies, Governments and different stakeholders. However, there is an increase in economic refugees from Africa due to corruption, war and instability. This conference brought about a great magnitude of hope for African entrepreneurs who beat the status quo to build change in the society. Participants with various top ideas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Cameroon and Egypt among others were further awarded.

Written by: ECYL Pendo Muthiora (Nairobi, Kenya)

For more event information: http://africa.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/youth-programming

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Seeds of Hope Exhibition Attracts Crowds in Ghana

Source: SGI Peace News, Promoting a Culture of Peace
Soka Gakkai International (SGI), November 2018 (Vol. 25)

eeds of Hope Exhibition Ghana Earth Charter

Accra, Ghana, 13-14 October 2018

The Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps Toward Change exhibition was shown at the Accra International Conference Center on 13 and 14 October 2018. More than 15,000 people viewed the exhibition, jointly created by SGI and Earth Charter International, over the two days and over 10,000 of them were students from 200 schools.

The showing was organized by SGI-Ghana youth, and youth representatives were present to introduce the panels to visitors.

The opening ceremony on 13 October was attended by Professor Ivan Addae Mensah, former vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Beatrice Okai (widow of Professor Atukwei Okai, secretary-general of the Pan African Writers’ Association), and King of Osu Traditional Area, President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs and member of the National House of Chiefs, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI.

After a welcome from SGI-Ghana General Director Mr. D.K. Sintim-Aboagye, the daughters of the late Professor Atukwei Okai presented a poem in the form of a chant from his writings for children, in appreciation of the friendship between their father and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

A message from the SGI president was then read, encouraging viewers to take action now if they wish to achieve something.

President of Ghana H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor’s message was also read, in which he expressed his admiration for the enthusiasm with which the youth of Soka University sang the Ghanaian song “Yen Ara Asaase Ni” when he met with SGI President Ikeda in Tokyo. He encouraged all Ghanaians, using the same energy, to make positive contributions toward the sustainable development of the country.

The brass band of the Young Executive School in the central region then played the same song, followed by cultural performances from some of the invited schools.

Earth Charter Seeds of Hope

Those viewing the exhibition were given stickers to express their determination toward environmental sustainability. The following determinations were written by the youth: “I promise I will help a friend,” “I promise to not discriminate against people” and “I promise to help old people.”

 

 

 

To view the panels in PDF format, click here: https://www.sgi.org/in-focus/2010/seeds-of-hope.html

You can also find more information here: http://earthcharter.org/virtual-library2/seeds-of-change-the-earth-charter-human-potential-exhibition/

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Webinar on the positive impact of young people with youth org in the DRC

We had the pleasure to deliver an hour-long webinar about the positive impact of youth working with the Earth Charter to the members of the FERAPAD FIZI association (Rural Women Friends of Peace and Development) in Democratic Republic of Congo, for. The association promotes peace and development in the eastern part of DRC, working mainly with women and girls coming from rural areas.

First, we introduced ourselves to the ten or so young people participating, we then introduced the principles and values of the Earth Charter. We explained the ECI vision of sustainability based on ecological integrity and the universality of the Earth Charter with opportunities for the youth to get involved.

There are many opportunities for the youth to participate and to spread the Earth Charter through their work as a teacher or through their artistic activities such a cinema or theatre. The exchange we had, permitted us to call them to action with the Earth Charter. These young people will, from now on, have the opportunity to rely on our youth network, on our mobile app, Mapting, and on the valuable advice of our youth coordinator to get involved in the construction of a more sustainable, just and pacific world for tomorrow.

It was a real pleasure to host this webinar with the youth of FERAPAD association and we would like to give a special thank to Stanislas, the director, for his cooperation. We really hope these young people will use the Earth Charter document as a guide and an inspiration for them to implement peace in their communities in Democratic Republic of Congo.

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School of El Rodeo (CR) Receives Recycling Stations and Compost Tumbler from MLS

On Tuesday, 23 October, the School of El Rodeo, located in the Central Valley of San José, Costa Rica, received two recycling stations and one compost tumbler, as a donation from Mora Limpia & Sostenible (Clean & Sustainable Mora), a regional initiative designed to improve deteriorating ecological conditions in the County of Mora. The school, which is situated just a hundred meters from the University for Peace, had been trying to become certified under Bandera Azul (Blue Flag), a national programme designed to promote environmental conservation, but was lacking a key recycling programme requirement. When MLS discovered this, it set out to raise money to help create the school’s very first recycling programme.

 

A workshop to teach the students on the importance of recycling and how to recycle was carried out by Mario Guel, founder of Mora Limpia y Sostenible, ECI Youth Coordinator, Christine Lacayo, and ECI intern, Eglantine Olivry along with other Upeace students. The day was filled with curios questions and occasional laughter, as the children enthusiastically participated in the interactive workshop on solid and organic waste management. MLS started as an internship project back in January 2018, but has transformed into a long-term endeavor that seeks to promote both environmental sustainability and ecotourism opportunities across the County of Mora using the Earth Charter as a guideline and an educational tool. Currently, its pilot focuses on creating a sustainable waste management programme in El Rodeo and Ciudad Colón via community engagement, education on the UNSDGs and strategic partnerships.

 

To learn more about Mora Limpia y Sostenible, please visit our Facebook/Instagram page or send an email to moralimpiaysostenible@gmail.com

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