COVID-19 has dominated Ireland’s media platforms over the last few weeks. Many of us are consumed by nothing other than how this pandemic is progressing. We are overwhelmed, so much so, that we have forgotten that there are other crises. This is not to take away from the impact COVID-19/coronavirus is creating or it’s severity, but it’s a reminder that climate change has not gone away.
What will our future be like?
What happens when we find the vaccine to cure the virus? Do we go back to the way we were before we realised that climate change was an issue? It is really important that management of this pandemic does not undermine efforts to stop the climate crisis. We are at a crossroads. After this pandemic, we can rebuild our society the way it was, or we can focus on sustainability and protecting the planet at the core of our plans. We should consider this a wake-up call.
Young people can make a difference!
It is often hard to imagine what we as young people could possibly do to change the course of the future, but it is possible for us to change it for the better. Many young people wonder, ‘how can I make a difference?’ As we saw with the work of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, when thousands of voices come together, they can be heard, and they can make a difference
That is why we joined SAUTI-Youth (Sustainable Accountability Uniting Tanzanian and Irish Youth). This is a new initiative funded by the European Union; a collaboration between World Vision Ireland, Youth Work Ireland Galway and World Vision Tanzania.
SAUTI- Youth is a youth led project which monitors local government’s commitments on climate action, linking Galway and Tanga in Tanzania. Young people will be provided with the skills to monitor their local government’s climate action commitment and spending. We will be empowered to talk with local authorities so we can work together toward change, where climate commitments are not just promises but actual actions that will help Ireland and Tanzania achieve our climate goals.
Why is it so important to have youth led projects like SAUTI- Youth?
As we are all aware, climate change is happening, and will have a major impact on our lives as young people. It will affect today’s youth more than any previous generation. Youth led projects like SAUTI-Youth give young people a chance to get their voices heard on a topic that will impact our future.
It is not just about shouting our demands into an abyss. It is about demanding those who are in power and those who have the ability to make changes, such as politicians and stakeholders, are kept accountable for the promise they make. We cannot progress in the fight against climate change if we allow countries to just sign international agreements and forget about it. This is the next step after the Climate strikes.
SAUTI-Youth is also innovative because young people from Ireland and Tanzania will work together to tackle climate issues from both Northern and Southern perspectives, looking at what unifies us in this common battle.
If you are interested in finding out more about this project you can find us on the SAUTI-Youth Facebook page and on the SAUTI-Youth Instagram. You can also get in contact by emailing [email protected] or calling or 0860331734. This project is located in Galway and if you are a young person from Galway or know someone from Galway that could be interested please share this article with them.