Greshma Pious Raju is an Earth Charter Young Leader who first learned about the Earth Charter during her master’s programme at University for Peace. At the age of twenty-three, Greshma traveled from her home state of Kerala, India to Costa Rica to study International Peace Studies. As part of the programme requirements, Greshma was looking for an internship related to her academic interests, and with a little help from her career counselor, she learned that an internship with the Earth Charter International Secretariat could offer her that experience. Greshma indicated that she was inspired by the leadership and kind working relationship she experienced during her internship. She also expressed that her one-year experience in Costa Rica was life-changing given the multicultural environment and the fact that this was the first time she met a person from Pakistan, which made her shift her perspective and vision with regards to people from other cultures.
Soon after starting her internship, Greshma realized the overlap among her interests, her studies, and the Earth Charter principles. She specially connected to Earth Charter principle 16: “Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.”
Upon completing her internship, Greshma received her University for Peace diploma and moved back home to India. There, she accepted a position as a research scholar at the United Religions Initiative International Peace Research Institute. One of Greshma’s responsibilities is leading the “One Billion Youth for Peace” campaign, with the objective of reaching youth and encouraging them to take the pledge for building lasting world peace.
Greshma also completed the Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics online course with the Earth Charter in 2019. As part of this course, Greshma visited her local high school, the Fathima Public School, and led a workshop for 40 teenage students on sustainable development and peace. As a Young Leader, she continues to multiply these efforts by mentoring students to help them put the Earth Charter in action.
“The inclusiveness reflected in the Earth Charter principles inspired me to commit to the EC movement. I believe it will be a living document for centuries, a guideline to analyze ourselves and create a new sense of identity as global citizens to work for global good.”-Greshma Pious Raju
Recently, Greshma started a project Ecopeace Teen Cafe for teenagers. It’s an online transformative education and dialogue platform for high school students. 29 students were selected from different states of India for the first cohort. The Ecopeace Ambassadors Program consists of four modules; Community Building, Environment conservation, Social Justice, and Peace and Harmony. This four month project is trying to bring behavioural changes in participants towards nature, increase their awareness on climate change and encourage them to take actions for a better world.