This article aims to present a range of opportunities related to youth climate activism and for this purpose we’ve collected lots of information for you, but we don’t take responsibility for the events we describe - take care of yourself, always think critically and expand your comfort zone, but on your own terms!
UWC (United World Colleges) short courses last one to three weeks and take place mostly in June, July, and August. There are programs for 13-20-year-olds, but the age limit varies by course and there is usually a fee to cover the expenses like tuition, accommodation, and meals, but some funding is available on a course-by-course basis. UWC is also known for helping participants in fundraising money if they show strong motivation to make their dreams come true.
Lidia Ozga, who has taken part in the International Biosphere Stewardship Program, talks about this life-changing experience and her journey with fundraising in our video (the link is down below). Lidia has organized fairs at which she sold cakes and she has created a fundraising campaign, thanks to which she was regularly obtaining small donations. Eventually, she has received the missing amount of money from the famous doctor who had realized how great the potential of this girl is and that in the future she can contribute to the development of science and make our planet a better place.
During the 2020 holidays, there will be a lot of short courses covering topics of leadership, peace, power, and development, equality, human rights and many more, but focusing on courses on sustainability, ecology and the climate crisis, the following are particularly noteworthy:
YCL is a global youth leadership network and its goal is to empower one million young people to lead climate projects as a part of the global network by 2030. It is difficult to list all the opportunities offered by this organization - there are not only learning journeys, hands-on international immersions, and local courses, but also mentorship sessions and access to job vacancies, mentorships, and delegations to global events. Three great events are taking place in summer 2020: YCL Portugal Course (Leadership for the 21st Century), YCL 2020 Immersion (Cities and Climate Change) and Amazon Summer School (Forests and Climate).
Youth conferences are perfect for you if you value a rational, argument-based discussion over a more direct kind of activism and if climate change education is something you find crucial. In the face of the climate crisis, we need to focus on embracing an innovative and creative approach to global challenges, and youth conferences are a place of inspiration for young people who want their voices to be heard. Climate dialogue is necessary to develop the best strategies for solving global challenges and we strongly recommend taking part in youth conferences, especially if you associate your future with climate policy.
In on of our articles Zuzanna Borowska, who is a young climate activist, talks about her participation in COP25, which was associated with many challenges: Zuzanna had to get accreditation, find a sponsor and, shortly before leaving, completely change her travel plan when it turned out that COP25 won’t take place in Chile, but in Madrid. Overcoming all these obstacles enabled her to speak on the topics she finds the most important so that the whole world could hear her voice.
In the summer months of 2020, numerous youth climate conferences will be held, such as:
AISEC offers a huge variety of volunteering opportunities focused on experiencing new cultures, making your impact, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030. Projects are usually 6-8 weeks long and AISEC provides logistic support (getting the right visa, arrival pick-up information, departure instructions post-experience), clear job description, safe living conditions, and learning experience. The process of application isn’t complicated (“A life-changing experience a few clicks away!”): you need to build your profile on the AIESEC Opportunities Portal, filter search results to find the best opportunity, organize interviews after finding “the perfect match” and put things in place for your internship. There’s also an amazing community that is always ready to share their experiences and some valuable pieces of advice, so if you need inspiration, help or you still hesitate if AISEC is something for you, start with YouTube research!
Volunteering is often a challenge and forces you to do things that seem impossible at the beginning, but you can enjoy countless benefits from it. Thanks to AISEC, you get the unique and life-changing opportunity to empower others and become a self-aware, solution-oriented global citizen that bravely tackles global challenges in an innovative way. Noteworthy options for climate change and sustainable development are, for example:
Summer programs are a very diverse category because it contains various types of camps and youth meetings, which are usually aimed at broadly understood climate education, acquiring new skills needed in activism and supporting leadership attitudes among young people. In one of our articles about Changemakers Camp, we’ve described the benefits young people can gain from such experiences if have a conscious approach to what they learn and think critically: it’s not only a life-changing opportunity of meeting wonderful people and making friends with the most inspiring human beings on our planet but also a chance to face your weaknesses and work on them, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
All information comes from linked websites.
The article was prepared by Katarzyna Kubik.