Introduction: Young people are a major force in the contemporary world. They are at the forefront of global, economic, political and religious developments. In addition to their intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, youth have a unique perspective. How communities progress and flourish is determined, to a large extent, on how much the youth are involved in building and designing the future. Young people are very powerful instruments in promoting global peace, social harmony, friendship and sustainable partnerships. When appreciated and positively engaged, youth can initiate actions that result in unprecedented social growth and development. Religion, on the other hand, has the capacity of facilitating the attainment of appropriate standards of excellence, motivating and equipping a compassionate response and influencing citizens to become effective and powerful voices for change, peace and social justice.
Preliminary Activity: As part of our mandate of mainstreaming youth voices in climate action programs, NEW ERA EDUCATIONAL AND CHARITABLE SUPPORT FOUNDATION in collaboration with FRESH AND YOUNG BRAINS DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE organized a one-day event to commemorate the International Day of Climate Action tagged ‘Youth Walk for Climate Action’. The event held as a preliminary activity to the International Conference on Youth and Interfaith Communication, October 24-25 and provided a platform for young leaders and other stakeholders who care enough about our shared global future to get involved and make their voices heard. The Youth Walk for Climate Action joined more than 5,000 events held in over 182 countries as part of a global day of action coordinated by 350.org to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions. A preliminary event was held at the eve of Oct 24th featuring debriefing, crafts and photo sessions at the CRUDAN Guest House, Jos. Participants were given an overview of the event and encouraged to design innovative concepts for the 350 campaign. Among the concepts was the formation of 350 using Toothpicks, Cutlery, Serviettes, Glasses, Basins, Candles, Bottle covers, Table Mats, Green Leaves, among others. The highlight of the preliminary event was the formation of Human 350 by 9 youths.
The main event started by 7.30am on October 24th with the formation of the Human 350 by 61 youth and adult partners at the entrance of the National Library. Participants also had photo sessions with the 350 Campaign Placards and Banners, and the UN Seal The Deal Campaign Banner. Press Release was issued to members of the Press to seek their support in the Climate Justice Campaign. As part of grassroots’ mobilization and their commitment to climate justice, participants and guests participated in 30 minutes Youth Walk for Climate Action featuring songs, dance and special displays on the streets of Jos. IEC materials such as T-shirts, Face Caps, Banners and Placards were used during the Walk and attracted a lot of support by members of the public. Over 200 people participated in the Walk. Resource Persons who made special presentations at the Climate Action Session included Excellence Eyo Offiong Uso, Co-Chair, African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Danjuma D. Jise, Researcher and Program Officer, Center for Nonviolence and Gender Advocacy, Michael-Donovan Ezeilo, a member of the G6 on Climate Change under the auspices of Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development, Abuja, Surveyor Efik –National Coordinator of the Climate Change Network of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Diru of the Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development, Abuja; Dr. Idris Muslim of the Nigerian Greens Movement; and Mr. Samson Ogallah of the BNRCC/NEST, among others too many to mention. Read Full Report of the Youth Walk for Climate Action Here.