23 July 2021 - Germany

Climate crisis: Save the Children supports climate activists with workshop at One Young World Summit

Canab (37) and her children Sayid and Salma (2), Cawo (6), Mohamed (7) and Abdishakur (1) were forced to leave their home in Somalia due to drought and water shortages

Recent devastating floods in Europe, India and China, and heatwaves in North America illustrate the acceleration of the climate crisis that is directly threatening at least 710 million children across the globe, Save the Children said today.

Against this backdrop, Save the Children is intensifying its work to support and protect children and young people affected most by the climate crisis, including joining this year’s international congress for young leaders, the One Young World Summit in Munich.

The child rights organisation will offer a workshop on campaigning on July 25 which aims to give young people the tools to allow their voices to be heard on the climate crisis. Participants include Lali Fernando Riasco1, a young activist from Colombia and protagonist from Save the Children's centenary project ‘I Am Alive’.

Youth activists - such as Greta Thunberg and others - have taken the lead in climate activism in recent years, looking to influence policies, politicians and processes, such as the legal action before the European Court of Human Rights. Save the Children welcomes these activities but also recognises that the voices of children from the Global South have so far been underrepresented.

The workshop will teach participants how to bring diversity and authenticity to climate campaigns. Save the Children has already successfully implemented this in its “Red Alert” climate campaign in 11 Asian countries, which has given children and young people the opportunity to raise their voices for climate action and share their experiences of the climate crisis and increasingly erratic weather events such as droughts, fires, and floods. All of these threaten children’s rights to food, health, protection and education.

The workshop is facilitated by Daphnée Cook (Regional Media Manager, Save the Children East and South Africa), Malama Mwila (Communications and Campaigns Manager, Save the Children Zambia), Yasmin Macé (Global Campaigns Content Producer, Save the Children International) and Martina Dase, Director of Communications of Save the Children in Germany.

Ms Dase explained:

“We are on red alert. The unprecedented floods in Germany and other European countries show that no one is safe from the effects of the climate crisis. It’s the greatest threat of our time, and it hits children the hardest as they will have to live with the consequences.”

The young Colombian José David Riasco is vaccinated and will travel to Munich. He can already see the effect of the climate crisis on his doorstep. The Guapi River in his home in the Colombian province of Cauca is contaminated by rubbish and sewage. The polluted water endangers agriculture and the health of the inhabitants while floods threaten to destroy his village.

Lali Fernando Riasco, activist from Colombia:

“It is a big problem that the climate crisis is not yet sufficiently perceived as a threat. I believe that we will see the consequences of this in the near future. That’s why I help children in marginalised regions to realise and exploit their own potential for climate protection.”

Martina Dase adds:

“We need to involve children directly in political decisions, children need to have a say when it comes to their future, especially those who grow up directly on the front lines of the climate crisis. This is exactly what our workshop is about. We are looking for creative ways to give these children a platform. The climate workshop at the One Young World Summit 2021 is just the starting point of a series of activities in the run-up to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow.”

Lali Fernando Riasco has been involved in climate action and peacebuilding in Colombia for the past five years and now is part of the leadership in a network of youth activists, including Save the Children and Fundación Compaz. His story is told in the photo book ‘I Am Alive’by Save the Children, which features 11 people who experienced war as a child and retain hope for the future. It was published by Kerber Verlag in autumn 2020.

This year's One Young World Summit will take place in Munich from 22-25 July. Over 1,800 youth delegates from more than 190 countries will discuss political, social and economic issues in person and digitally with celebrity guests. In previous years, guests at One Young World Summit have included the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, British actress Emma Watson, Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, American former soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Information on the One Young World Summit: https://www.oneyoungworld.com/summit-2021

Information on the project “I Am Alive“:        www.savethechildren.de/i-am-alive

1 In the book of a century “I Am Alive – How Children Survived a Century of War”, Lali Fernando Riasco is portrayed under the pseudonym José David Ríos, as he was still a minor at the time the book was written.

Content available: Somalia climate crisis, Sahra* and Amina*, Somalia social media edit.

For more information please contact:

Save the Children Deutschland e.V.

Press Office – Claudia Kepp

Tel.: +49 (30) 27 59 59 79 – 280

Email: claudia.kepp@savethechildren.de

Or our media out of hours (BST) contact which is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409

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