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Vanessa Nakate from Uganda is one!
In December 2019, Nakate was one of a handful of youth activists to speak at the COP25 gathering in Spain.
In early January 2020, she joined around 20 other youth climate activists from around the world to publish a letter to participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, calling on companies, banks and governments to immediately stop subsidizing fossil fuels. She was one of five international delegates invited by Arctic Basecamp to camp with them in Davos during the World Economic Forum; the delegates later joined a climate march on the last day of the Forum. She posed for a picture with four other young women, but when it was published the News Agency picture was cropped! A climate activist from Africa is not important, not newsworthy!
Vanessa grew up in Kampala, and got involved in activism in December 2018 after being bothered by the unusually high temperatures in her country. “I asked my uncle to tell me how hot it was 20 years earlier. He told me he thought it was much hotter now.
“So I read more, and decided to go on strike in January 2019. It took me some days to build up the courage because I never went on strike for anything before No other students would join me because many were too afraid, so I asked my siblings. We made signs and striked together.” Vanessa thinks that we all have a responsibility to help our planet, and fight for our future.
“The Earth is our home and our responsibility. The way you take care of your home is the same way you should take care of our planet. Our future is at stake. Climate change has no limits, and it will affect all of us. No matter who you are, where you live. Everyone is in danger.
“My main challenge has been convincing others to join me in striking. Often I am alone. Most people are afraid and others need to be educated more about the climate crisis. It has been hard getting the message out across Africa, but I will keep working.”
“I have been striking every Friday since February 2019,” said Leah. “I led three national climate strikes in Uganda in March, May and September this year, and since then have been elected as the team leader for Fridays for Future in Uganda.
“But just talking about change is not enough. I decided to take more action by doing plastic pickups around Kampala, my hometown.”
Visit mshr.org Facebook to see other prominent African Climate Change Activists!