Jeffrey K. Kosgei – Global Youth Ambassador April 2021
Global Youth Ambassadors, GYA of the month
Theirworld's work would not be possible without our network of nearly 1000 Global Youth Ambassadors from around the world. Each month, we highlight the work of one or two of them and the amazing work they do to get every child into school.
One Child One Tree is an initiative that seeks to bring the younger generation to the forefront of the climate change discussion through environmental conservation and tree planting. GYA Jeffrey Kosgei spoke to us about the work he has been doing, educating primary school children in Kenya on environmental issues and the civic responsibility children have towards their community and their planet.
How did you begin your journey into environmental conservation and activism?
Living on the coastal region of Kenya, I have seen the first-hand effects of climate change. Our agricultural region heavily depends on rain and as the weather patterns continue to change – I realised climate change threatens all aspects of our society from work to economic prosperity.
Climate solutions often put the older generation in charge, and I wanted to engage the younger generation properly. It is an important demonstration that young people are not only the future but also present drivers of change that we want to have in our society.
Why do you think the link between education and the environment is so crucial?
Education is the critical foundation of any engagement – to addressing both problems and solutions. Through planting trees with school children, we can connect between the impacts of climate change and what they are doing to address this. Whilst educating them, we can increase forest cover, knowledge share and create awareness with practical examples drawn from their immediate surroundings. This empowers the younger generation to take charge and bring forward solutions to climate change. It only takes one child and one tree.
In celebration of World Earth Day, what can fellow GYAs be doing as activists to take care of the planet?
The theme of Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth. This is such an important message, as it encourages people to connect with what they can see. Offering climate solutions can come in different ways – there are so many avenues for engagement. Whilst policy work is helpful, starting small and creating scalable change is key too. Do what is within your reach, whether this be advocating for reuse, reduce, recycle in your local community or the small act of planting trees. If you are doing your part, and someone else across the globe is doing something, our efforts are bound together. Through collaboration, we can all contribute to a cleaner and safer world.