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This March 15th, students worldwide are rallying for climate action. To join in their efforts, Climate Tracker launched Youth Write for Climate, a social-media based campaign for youths to share stories of their lived experiences from all corners of the globe. This is a non-traditional writing campaign geared towards students aged 12 to 20 with no prior experience in journalism. 

Three days after the launch, we’ve received stories from 12 countries across 4 continents and counting! To read all their stories, visit the campaign’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Youth-Write-for-Climate-1226476740887063/.

Here are snippets of some of the most powerful stories:

“I grew up in Belo Horizonte, one of the largest cities in Brazil. As many urban hubs, my hometown isn’t immune to traffic, overpopulation and the lack of green spaces. My family and I found refuge from the city madness in a home in Brumadinho, a town 30 minutes away from the city. It was our green harbor – a nature filled community in the mountains with waterfalls, tall trees and lots of wildlife.

This January, a tailing dam in the river next to the town collapsed and devastated it. People lost their houses, their family members, and the town lost its glow. The trees are gone. The biodiversity is gone. All you could see is orange mud from the iron mines nearby.”

– Julia Vilela, 17 | Belo Horizonte, Brazil

“As a child I remember playing in loads of snow during the winter, sometimes there was that much snow that we stayed home and didn’t go to school. I remember heavy storms with lot of rain during the summer. But where are they? I haven’t experienced real winter here for the last 8 years and the summers miss their storms. The drought destroys everything.”

Jonas Jirout, 21 | Prague, Czech Republic

“Wildfires are only getting becoming more commonplace in the Pacific Northwest due to decreased (and much needed) rainfall and rising temperatures, affecting the lush green and serene nature. I could barely breathe as I walked to the train station to catch the morning train to summer classes because of the smog descending in the greater Seattle area from two different wildfires.” 

– Diana Davidson, 19 | Washington, USA

“Korea is currently going through a massive problem regarding air quality. The level of fine dust in the atmosphere has reached dangerous levels for the past two weeks. AQI levels in Korea has reached well over the 200 which designates the air as ‘Heavily polluted,’ which causes massive health problems for people with respiratory and health conditions.

For those in poverty, without enough money and government support to purchase even simple masks or air purifiers, they are just exposed to all of the pollutants in the air.” 

– Jeonghyun Yoo, 17 | Goyang, South Korea

It is not too late to join Youth Write for Climate! After March 17th, we will feature writers of the 3 most impactful stories on our news site. They will also receive online resources on how to become involved in climate communications right from high school. 

 

HOW TO JOIN 

By March 17th, send stories (150-400 words) directly to the campaign’s Facebook page or use this form: https://goo.gl/forms/osOmr0ZeMG69nEn63. Tell us your name, age, where you’re from. If possible, include pictures.

Think about:

  • the environment you live in
  • how climate change has impacted you and your community
  • effects of your country’s environmental policies
  • what you want to tell decision makers

Climate change affects young people’s lives in many different ways. There is no one climate story. TELL YOURS!

About Mai Hoang

Mai is an environmental writer from Vietnam, writing on climate change and environmental issues in her country. She is an online journalism fellow for Climate Tracker and tweets from @mai_nhoang.