In September 2016 I was fortunate enough to get a writing fellowship with Climate Tracker, at that time I did not know a lot about climate change and I had very little experience in environmental journalism. The fellowship was a 4 weeks writing program to write and publish 4 articles about different topics related mainly to fossil fuel and clean energy transition. Climate Tracker provided me with a mentor to help me write my articles and get it published, they taught how to write a strong pitch and get my article published everywhere. Only a couple of days after I started the fellowship, I managed to get my first article published in one of the biggest newspapers in Sudan, shortly after, I got my second article published in another known publication. By the end of the fellowship I have had my 4 article published in 4 different publications and my editors’ network started to grow.
Lina (middle), with COP 23 team
After completing the fellowship I was chosen as one of Climate Tracker’s fellows in COP 22 Marrakesh, Morocco. I was part of a team made up of 12 young talented environmental activists from different countries and backgrounds. Working with a diverse team like this, was a good opportunity for me to gain new skills and share experiences. During my two weeks in COP, I was able to publish 15 articles about different topics related to climate change in and outside Sudan. the articles that I wrote included world top expert’s opinions and whoever reads my article would think that I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to book a call with that person while in fact, I managed to do the whole conversation over a coffee in one of the conference’s restaurants.
Being part of Climate Tracker’s team at COP 22 was a life changing experience for me. I learned how to conduct an interview, how to speak in a panel discussion and more importantly I learned how to get out of my comfort zone and get things done on time. During and After COP 22 I got three job offers, a chance to represent Sudanese’s Youth at a panel discussion with the environment minister and I started publishing more articles outside my country. COP is not just one opportunity, it has hundreds of other opportunities, and it is a chance for you to discover and understand yourself better.
In COP I had fun, I met some important government officials and I have made friends from all over the world which represents a useful network that will forever last. This experience had a huge impact on my life, it made me gain more confidence in myself and change my perspective on different things. I now work as MENA Programs Manager at Climate Tracker, I enjoy my work very much because it is giving me the chance to create a difference and empower other young people like me to become powerful voices in their community.