Youth News Archives - Earth Charter

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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Follow ECI on Social Media!

Stay connected and engage with us through social media; don’t miss updates on news from the global Earth Charter movement, information on courses, and day-to-day activities at the ECI Education Center! Share your story using the Earth Charter in your community to be featured on our social media platforms!

Why

When you are part of a global community, it is important to stay connected in order to build and strengthen the network. Find out what is happening with the Earth Charter around the world and share with others what you are doing. We encourage you to connect with other Earth Charter friends and followers, engage in conversation, work on projects together, and share your news!

How

Follow us, tag us, like, comment, and share our content on any social media platform you are active on! Send us information of what you are doing. Find links to all of our social media accounts below:

Email youthcoordinator@earthcharter.org for details on how to get involved with the Youth Network or to share your Youth Story.  Email info@earthcharter.org for general EC related information.

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Why You Should Use the App Mapting

We recently celebrated the second year of existence of Mapting, our mobile app created with Soka Gakkai International. Therefore, we thought important to remind both its current and future users, the value of Mapting in the field of sustainable development and ethics. Overall, we consider that Mapting as a tool that can be used to learn and achieve goals to transform our environment. This tool is based on two complementary frameworks that can help us achieve this transition, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Earth Charter principles (EC).

Mapting is a way for you to discover more about activities and actions that help to implement the SDGs and how WHY TO USE MAPTING- infographic-page-001the EC principles relate to the SDGs. The app is available for free on iOS or Android. By using the app, you can share activities you organize around the SDGs and gather knowledge about the SDGs and the Earth Charter principles allowing a diverse audience to spread the word about sustainable development and the actions they are taking towards building a sustainable future. You can share your actions or observations towards the SDGs by uploading a video or picture. This is beneficial to increase the visibility of your initiatives and other people’s initiatives around the world. In general, having more visibility and an audience for your events and projects is key for those events to achieve a greater impact.

Moreover, Mapting provides the capacity for you to interact directly with other users across the world, in order to create partnerships, to exchange means or ideas. The application is a great opportunity to network on a global scale. The app can also be used as a barometer to measure which SDGs are being used most or least around the world and where. By having this data you can easily connect with other projects in your area working towards the same SDGs or you can fill the void in areas where a certain SDG is not being applied.

The connectivity of Mapting allows you to create bridges and to inspire you to create solutions for a better future, to fulfill the SDGs with an ethical framework based on the Earth Charter principles.  We highly encourage youth and schools to use Mapting to share their actions with friends and to find similar projects they can connect with. Thanks to its accessibility, Mapting helps us grow our community, share positive actions towards building a sustainable future, and to learn more about the SDGs and Earth Charter principles.

Two years after the creation of Mapting, we strongly believe that this application is valuable to educate, to inspire action, and to create cooperation.

To download Mapting go to www.mapting.org
Share with us your story and how you’re using Mapting in your community, we will feature you on our blog!

For more details write to youthcoordinator@earthcharter.org

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Registration Open for Online Youth Course Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics for Jan 2019!

Our fourth youth course of the year on Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics in Spanish has commenced with much excitement and engagement! We have a diverse group of 25 youth from 11 different countries including: Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Spain, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, and Puerto Rico. We have many participants in this course who are already in connection with the Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo; Laura Escobar- Public Relations & D9908A35-63FD-4142-9500-6DDC8D60BCFBAlumni Officer for the University for Peace, Auraluz Guzman- Puerto Rico Director of U-Can, Vanessa Salmerón with Guaravito Sustentabilidad y Conservación, 2 youth from Guatemala sponsored by ECI Youth Partner, SERES, and 3 youth from Chile sponsored by Jose Etcheverry.

Throughout the course you will expand your knowledge and skills on certain themes such as leadership, ethics, sustainability, Earth Charter principles, Eco literacy, Systems Thinking, and how to successfully design and implement a workshop in their community.

This course is designed to enhance your abilities to become active leaders in your communities towards a more just, sustainable, and ethical world. Our goal at the end of the course is to successfully strengthen your confidence in leadership for sustainability, enhance your consciousness to contribute to the greater good, inspire like-minded individuals to collaborate across borders to carry out your work in your communities!

Alumni of this course have the opportunity to become an Earth Charter Young Leader (ECYL). This programme is a year-long leadership opportunity to serve as a focal point in the Earth Charter Youth Network to mobilize and engage other young people around the Earth Charter vision and principles.

You can now register for our next youth course, offered in English starting on 14 January 2019 with a deadline to apply by 17 December 2018. To apply and for more information visit our website.

Testimonial from Emmanuel Niyoyabikoze, youth participant from Burundi who was sponsored by the Florida Earth Charter Initiative:

“I am very happy for this opportunity. My heart was touched and I received valuable new knowledge and skills that will help me in my community. ECI has added something to me. It’s a great curriculum acquired. It is an invaluable and important program to become a good leader and actor for a positive impact in the community. I am focusing on Climate Action for the SDGs, I have a project to plant many trees here in Burundi. I believe the Earth Charter will be a tool to help me succeed as an environmental leader in my community.”

 

Emmanuel

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Earth Charter Youth Stories Around the World

We’re excited to announce 5 inspiring Earth Charter Youth stories from around the world that we have compiled in video format. Find out how these sustainability leaders engaged with the Earth Charter since their younger years and how the Earth Charter continues to influence them today in their different contexts and professional roles.


Togo

Assouan Gbesso is from Togo and was an active Earth Charter Young Leader from 2003-2009 engaging youth with the Earth Charter in Togo. He now works as a Programme Officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Republic of Congo and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Programme at the University for Peace focusing on Peace Education Encountering Youth Radicalization in Mali. Watch his featured story below:


Brazil

Gabriela Barbosa Batista, former undersecretary of education and socio-environmental mobilization, the Secretary of Environment of Brasília, Brazil, was introduced to the Earth Charter in 2002 during the Second World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. From this moment on, she has organized groups of young people from the NGO Alternativa Terrazul to work with sustainability projects based on the Earth Charter. Gabriela also organized a national youth seminar. Watch Gabriela’s Earth Charter featured story below:


Costa Rica

Fernando Mora Rodríguez, Deputy Minister of Water, Seas, Coasts, and Wetlands of Costa Rica (2014- 2018), came across the Earth Charter in 2010 as a participant in the youth course on Youth Leadership, Environmental Sustainability, and Ethics. In this video, Fernando tells us about how the Earth Charter has influenced him in his decision-making and some challenges and lessons learned during his experience in public administration. Watch Fernando’s Earth Charter featured story below:


Costa Rica

Nicole Jirón Beirute became involved with the Earth Charter Initiative in 1998, at age 17 when she promoted a consultation process among the university students at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). Since then she participated in the group that promotes the Earth Charter in Costa Rica. In 2001 she worked as the International Youth Coordinator for the Earth Charter International. Watch Nicole’s Earth Charter featured story below:


Nigeria

Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe encountered the Earth Charter in 2006 in Calabar, Nigeria. She participated in an Earth Charter E-Glo (Earth Charter Global Learning Opportunity) training programme using your voice through social media, communications, and blogging to build a sustainable future. In 2016, she went on to work as an Advisor to the Ministry of the Environment in Nigeria and now works as the Climate and SDG Action officer for the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. In this video, Esther explains how she came to know the Earth Charter and how it continues to inspire her in her work today. Watch Esther’s featured Earth Charter story below:


Have you been inspired to engage and act in the Earth Charter Movement? Do you implement the EC values in your life, family, school, or community? How has the Earth Charter affected you? Share your story to reach other youth that may be on the verge of diving in to a new network, lifestyle, and purpose.

ECI envisions to catalyze stories in the form of an essay, video, performance, art work, etc. to share with others through the ECI website, social media, or even in future print publications. Write us at youthcoordinator@earthcharter.org

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Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe’s Earth Charter Youth Story

Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe met the Earth Charter in 2006 in Calabar, Nigeria. She participated in an Earth Charter E-Glo (Earth Charter Global Learning Opportunity) training programme that taught her about using your voice through social media, communications, and blogging to build a sustainable future. In 2016 she went on to work as an Advisor to the Ministry of the Environment in Nigeria and now works as the Climate and SDG Action officer for the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

“My favorite Earth Charter Principle is the first one- Care for the Community of Life. I love it because it makes me feel more connected to the human species and everything that is on Earth—whether it is a fly, a human being, or a plant. The Earth Charter was really my first entry into environmental issues. Its principles expanded my mind to see things differently (unusual as it may be where I come from). It could really interest you to know that Earth Charter covers a whole wide range of issues, from faith to humanity.

I still have my Earth Charter in Action book in my room. I don´t joke with it. I read it a lot. It reminds you where you´re going. It gives you that inspiration to keep going because it´s hard sometimes. It´s fun a lot of the time, but you always get to a crossroad at some point in your life. You have to look back and see that we´ve come a long way.”

In this video, Esther explains how she came to know the Earth Charter and how it continues to inspire her in her work today. To read her full interview conducted in November 2016 by past Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator, Sarah Dobson, go here.

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