Children's Climate Change Conference Gets UnderwayNigeria
The Government of the Republic of Zambia and UNICEF are hosting the second Zambian Children's Climate Conference (ZCCC) this week here in the Zambian capital.
More than 90 Zambian Climate Ambassadors –18-years of age or younger and from all of the country’s 9 provinces – are sharpening their advocacy skills and gaining new knowledge, including how to also be HIV and AIDS prevention peer educators
“UNICEF endeavors to not only teach about climate change and HIV and AIDs prevention, but to empower children to become peer educators, and to be key players in the fight for local and national solutions,” said UNICEF Zambia Officer-in-Charge Dr. Nilda Lambo at the conference’s opening ceremony. “The second ZCCC will focus on children as trainers of trainers. The child ambassadors gathered here today will learn greater advocacy skills so your work plans will be stronger, clearer, and more likely to produce success and measureable results,” she added.
“The conference planners have also worked to define the expectations that we want the Climate Ambassadors to achieve – and how we can keep track of your work and increase communication channels,” Dr. Lambo said, “so that we communicate better with each other and for you to communicate regularly with climate ambassadors around the world through the Unite for Climate Internet platform.”
The conference, a follow-up to an earlier conference held in April, is being held in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Child Development (MYSCD).
Speaking at the opening ceremony, MYSCD Permanent Secretary Teddy Mulonga told the young Climate Ambassadors, “We know you are a tremendous resource…and you must go and implement what you learn here this week.” Mr. Mulonga also praised UNICEF for taking the lead in organizing the conference calling the UN agency an “all-weather friend” to the Government.
The ceremony included well-produced dramas by the Ambassadors on climate change and HIV and AIDS, performances Mr. Mulonga praised by saying, “We have to speak openly and frankly.”
The five –day conference is structured as much as possible on child-led activities, and the children will be mentored in climate change and HIV and AIDS lifeskills as well as receive extensive training in advocacy skills including media work.
"The Children's Radio Foundation is thrilled to be a part of the ZCCC2, as it allows us to give young people the skills and the tools to make their voices heard around issues of climate change,” said Children's Radio Foundation's Director of Programs, Michal Rahfaldt. “Young people often find it difficult to get people to listen to them and take them seriously. Radio provides them with a platform to share their messages with other young people, and to stimulate debate about climate change in their local communities where action is desperately needed."
A supervised computer lab, equipped with 20 Dell laptops and a Dell printer from the Dell Youth Connect Initiative, is part of the conference venue and many ambassadors are signing up for their first e-mail address and researching their projects on the Web. Internet access is extremely low in Zambia. The computers and printer were provided to Unite4Climate Zambia by UNICEF’s Youth Section at the agency’s New York headquarters and will eventually be used by the climate ambassadors countrywide.
Funding for ZCCC2 comes in part from a generous contribution from ING and the Netherlands Committee for UNICEF.
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