Global Youth Network: Understanding Climate Change to Initiate Immediate Action.
Climate change has become a hot issue to discuss because of its negative impact on society, including children. UNICEF (2022) states that by 2050, all children in the world will experience high-frequency heat waves regardless of the world's success in realizing the 'low greenhouse gas emission scenario' or the 'very high greenhouse gas emission scenario.'
The impact can cause diseases in children, such as chronic respiratory problems and other diseases, as well as affect the living environment, such as decreased quantity and quality of drinking water and high rainfall. For that, we need adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
The Global Youth Network (GYN) activity initiated by Good Neighbors International in South Korea is a step in adapting and mitigating climate change for children. It was conducted via online video conference involving around 200 children from various countries, including South Korea, Rwanda, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, Philippines, and Indonesia. Children of Surabaya Wonokusumo CDP, Deli Serdang CDP, and Bogor Cileuksa CDP represented Gugah Nurani Indonesia.
This activity is divided into three sessions: SDGs and climate crisis material deepening; assistants in each country; the matching group to connect children from several countries altogether; and the Closing Ceremony - awarding to participants and dance performances from several countries. The participants were divided into two age groups: primary school (9-12 years old) and Junior high school (13-15 years old).
- Inform SDGs and examples of their application in everyday life
- Inform about climate change and its impacts
- Creating good connectivity between children living in various countries to raise awareness of climate change
- Fostering mutual respect for differences, both differences in skin color, language, and culture
- Stimulating children's imagination to think globally and broadly
Conclusions on the matching group session are :
- Resource mobilization by inviting their friends to fundraise for climate change campaigns and helping less fortunate colleagues by selling photography results.
- Create Innovation through technology by utilizing narrow land for growing crops, changing coffee grounds residue, or using organic fertilizers.
- Followup actions using tumblers and lunchboxes, planting trees, separating organic and inorganic waste, and carrying out carbon footprint reduction campaigns. In some countries, children get used to using public transportation or bicycles.
Zio, one of the children from Deli Serdang, was pleased to make acquaintances, learn about traditional South Korean food and clothing, and understand the importance of saving electricity through GYN activities. While Eka Rizqiah, a grade 7 student at SMPN 27 Surabaya, is also happy to be part of the GYN activities. He studied SDGs and climate change and met friends from various countries online.
Children's active participation in activities and commitment to take real action against climate change shows that they have the intention and desire to protect the environment. They expect and invite world leaders and citizens to carry the slogan "We Connect, We Change," which means establishing good relationships and connecting for a better impact on mother earth.