- by Cassia (Brasil) and Eduarda (Brazil)
*Follow Cassia's live updates on Instagram: @cassia_moraes
*Follow Eduarda's live updates on Instagram: @duda_zoghbi
*Follow YCL's live updates on Instagram: @YouthClimateLeaders
Every year, the United Nations celebrate on August 12th the International Youth Day, and this year we had the privilege to participate on the official celebration at the UN Nairobi. This year’s chosen theme was “Safe Spaces”, which means that we must build more welcoming spaces for open dialogue and freedom of expression amongst our youth. With the rise of social media, young people are feeling more open to discuss their opinions online and exchange experiences with others, being more connected internationally and feeling more empowered to be active and engaged in their communities.
Safe spaces are also important to eliminate barriers of hatred, harassment and prejudice to target social cohesion and respect among young people. YCL is aligned to the UN’s strategy by uniting different cultures into one common space in order to build social impact together. By merging different backgrounds and values, the discussions are raised to another level, which enhances our capacity to be more creative to tackle global issues, such as climate change. Moreover, YCL's main goal is to train young people and connect them with concrete professional opportunities in the field. We were honored for having three #YCL2018immersion participants selected by the UN to be featured at this year's commemoration video: Unelker (Kenya), Marina (Brazil) and Haysam (Pakistan). You can watch the official video below (full article at the UN Environment's website).
YCL's Founder and CEO, Cassia Moraes, also had the honor of presenting our work as a Keynote speaker at the UN High-Level Panel for the International #YouthDay together with Ms. Shamoy Hajare (Jamaica School for Social Enterpreneurship), Mr. Tamrat Samuel (UNON Director General), Ms. Maimunah Sharif (UN-Habitat's Executive Director), Ms. Sun Baohong (Ambassador/China), Ms Sara Hradecky (Ambassador/Canada), among others. Highlighting the struggles on being a young woman on politics and business, she related her meeting with President Obama and the mission of the Youth Climate Leaders:
"I remember his [President Obama] final advice: to inspire other people, you should not do things for them, but rather help them to find their own power. And this is the main goal of Youth Climate Leaders - to go beyond 'giving a voice' to youth, also providing training and concrete opportunities for young people to take action and start their careers in the field. To fight climate change, we need youth's innovative ideas, passion and courage to dream and build the future we want. Moreover, we will be the ones facing the impacts of climate change now and in the future. And we can only have safe spaces to flourish and develop our full potential if we preserve the climatic and environmental conditions which enable humanity to thrive."