Ang Kalusunan: Encouraging the youth towards climate action

By Aimee Oliveros

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Our family is blessed with four active and very inquisitive children—my nieces and nephews ages one, four, and six years old. It’s always a joy to be around them because of their love for stories, their love for learning, and their love for play and action. They are good at creating their own stories, their own world, which they build up with their never-ending why’s and how’s. The world that they create opens new opportunities to expand their knowledge of what is possible and gives them the freedom to explore what they are capable of doing through play and interactions. This also gives them the space to make mistakes and experience a few tumbles and falls, but this ultimately builds strength, character, and purpose.

 

I remember my sister asked me once how can we teach three-year-old children about climate change. My answer at that time was for us, the adults, to be role models so that children will follow and develop good and environmentally friendly habits and values. But seeing how optimistic and inquisitive my nieces and nephews are, I realized that for us to effectively engage them towards climate action, we should learn from the simplicity of stories, learning, play, and action. We should take opportunities to spend quality time with them, share our own stories about our changing world, answer their never-ending questions about the oceans or the animals, and take time to learn and develop ideas on how to best protect our home, center activities and games on purposeful and sustainable games, and most importantly nurture an environment grounded with hope and purpose. 

The Do’s and Dont’s 

As we celebrated International Youth Day this month of August, it is critical for Climate Reality Leaders and advocates to recognize the voice and the role of the younger generation in the protection of our one and only home.

This month, we asked our Climate Reality Leaders who are both educators, “How to encourage the youth to learn about climate change and/or do climate action?” 

“Despite the apparent indications of the impacts of climate change, many still refuse to believe it. With this, as an educator, it is crucial that we lay down scientific facts and evidence to enlighten the youth about this major crisis of our century. Before we appeal to their emotions, we must first establish a sense of reality. They must be aware and must believe that climate change does exist.

– Andrian Castillo, 2020 Global Training

“The youth like my students are critical-minded and are not blind followers. To encourage them then to do climate action, I have to educate them about the science behind climate change and how mitigation and adaptation activities will help them in their lives and the next generation.”

– Andrew Cesar Rimando, 2021 Global Training

The Highs and Lows 

This month, we continued our conversation with Climate Reality Leaders from Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon—home to over 200 leaders. The session was intimate but with great stories and sharing from Climate Reality Leaders in the academe paving their way towards a better reality for all.

From Pampanga, Andrian Caisip is a civil engineer specializing in water resources engineering. He is a college instructor teaching Environmental Science and Engineering, Hydrology, and Water Resources Engineering courses at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Manila. He is also an active member of our organization’s Youth Cluster and a Cluster Coordinator of the Water Sufficiency Cluster. He recently completed his master’s degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in water resources engineering, and he is looking forward to creating more opportunities for engagement and action in the Water Sufficiency Cluster. 

From La Union, Andrew Cesar Rimando is a teacher of Chemistry, Environmental Science, and other subjects in Lorma Colleges, Inc. He is the Executive Director of a foundation that supports reforestation efforts, particularly the propagation of native trees in their community. At present, he is looking forward to propagating pili seeds to be endemic in his community. He is also a member of the Green Party of the Philippines where he was encouraged to join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training last year to learn and grow his network in the climate space. 

As a pre-work for this regional hang-out, we asked Climate Reality Leaders what they consider as top climate issues within their cities and there’s consistency on solid waste management, flooding, deforestation, water insufficiency, and pollution. Since the attendees were educators, the discussion stressed the importance of integrating climate science and education into the curriculum to better address the climate issues specific to their localities. It’s interesting to see how the next sessions would bring about more connections and collaborations. Watch this space and connect with us! 

What’s in store for #LuzonLeaders?

Climate Reality Leaders in CALABARON, MIMAROPA, and Bicol Region, join our upcoming online regional hangout on 15 September 2022!

We would love to hear from you! Do you have any climate questions but are too afraid to ask, or maybe a comment on our monthly column, just email at aimee.oliveros.ph@climatereality.com.   

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
 

Aimee is the Luzon Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She is a human resources professional with over 10 years of corporate work experience in different local and multinational industries. With her experience in organizational development, training and employee engagement, Aimee is deeply passionate about promoting learning and wellbeing. She is a Climate Reality Leader having joined the 2020 Global training which solidified her inner passion for community work and service. Being an advocate for the environment, she co-founded RE-Store MNL, a small shop promoting refill and reuse in Paranaque City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines Baguio.

ABOUT ANG KALUSUNAN

Ang Kalusunan or the “Northern Part” is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 1,200 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Luzon.

It is one of the monthly columns launched by The Climate Reality Project Philippines to elevate the climate discourse and strengthen climate action across all regions in the Philippines.