Sunday, August 15, 2010

“Climate Change: Our Year, Our Voices”

The United Nations has declared August 2010-2011 the International year of youth. “The International Year is about advancing the full and effective participation of youth in all aspects of society.” said Nicola Shepherd, the UN Focal Point on Youth. All sectors of society are encouraged to work in partnership with youth and youth organizations to better understand their needs and concerns and to recognize the contributions that they can make to society. Young people are encouraged to dedicate themselves to fostering progress, including the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

On August 16th, as part of an effort to celebrate this year’s international youth day, along with other young Nigerians, the Global Xchange Returned Volunteers forum (GXRV), The Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC) and Women Environmental Programme (WEP) will be organizing a two-day event, at the Yar’adua Center in Abuja, aimed at building young people’s capacity and increase their awareness on Climate Change issues.

It feels good to know the world has a day set aside to celebrate youths, I mean ever since I knew that there was a day on the calendar set aside to celebrate my present state as a young person I always look forward to that day because it feels like another birthday to me.

This year’s international youth day will remain one of the most memorable to me because I took a decision to share my resources, skills and energy with other young people and I didn’t regret it at all because I’ve come to realize that volunteering is not solely about contributing to a good cause, but also about having a new experience and growing as a person.

This year’s youth day in Nigeria focused more on our environment, what young people can do to save the changing climate. I got opportunity to learn how my careless habits affect my climate and the little corrections I could take to save the environment I live in. I also got the opportunity to meet with young people who are working selflessly and are driven by passion to save the climate.

This whole experience draws me back to one of my favorite quotes, ‘’ He that took care of the world before I was born will continue to do so even when I am gone, my part is to improve the present.’’

I am excited that the international youth day, and every day has given me an opportunity to improve the present and to learn a lot about myself through meeting people, pushing my boundaries and learning through the act service/volunteering.

Guest columnist: Chiomarh Chukwuneta

Chiomarh is a graduate of Madonna University Okija and an active volunteer with NYCC.

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