Tariq's Climate Awakening
Climate stories from young people in Nigeria
One day, I stepped out of my comfort zone and ventured into the streets of Lagos Island to raise awareness about the climate crisis. Every single human being has been affected by one of the climate crisis's effects in one way or another. Climate awareness and education are crucial for people to take action on climate change. I've witnessed numerous discussions on ways to encourage people in local communities to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, but let's acknowledge that people wouldn't take action on an issue they know nothing about.
The climate crisis was never mentioned in the classrooms at my school; the first time I learned about it was during a Model United Nations meeting that held at my secondary school, Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba. The climate crisis is a serious issue, but most people aren't aware of it due to the lack of climate education. Quality education is already an issue in Nigeria; without it, we can't prepare people to tackle our world's pressing issues.
I'm pleased that more people in the climate activism space are emphasizing the importance of climate education to drive real change, enabling us to create a more sustainable world. My urge to raise awareness about the climate crisis has intensified since my public demonstration. Every new person I meet will probably hear me speak passionately about the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to collectively save the Earth.
This has become an issue I am very passionate about. I also believe that young people who are trying to find solutions for the climate crisis or raising their voices are not being supported enough. As a young person who started a non-profit, it has been challenging to find support, especially in Nigeria. Most of the support I receive is from foreign organizations, which is not ideal. However, I don't let that discourage me; I will keep raising my voice and doing my part to create a better world for all.
I also believe collaboration is key when it comes to tackling the climate crisis; we cannot work in silos. I believe beyond meetings and summits; we should support and fund people working in local communities to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.
It is my world, and I can't keep watching it get destroyed. Despite all that's going on, I still choose climate optimism. I believe that with collective efforts, we can save our Mother Earth because there is no other like her.