How does the conversation about climate change move past simple discourse into the world of action? GreenCape has a strategy to bridge this gap with their Active Climate Change Citizenship for a Just Transition in South Africa project, known simply as SA Climate Change Champs.
GreenCape knows that for big change to happen on a national level, it is crucial not to forget those at the grassroots. When given the right tools and information, any individual can make a change in her immediate environment. Each change has a ripple effect; conversations can lead to policy change. But where to begin?
The youth are the most affected by climate change. GreenCape launched its project by sending ambassadors into schools in the Northern, Eastern, and Western Cape provinces, armed with packets of information and ideas to impart. Starting with teachers and community leaders, these ambassadors led workshops to change the conversation of climate change from one of threat to one of opportunity.
Teachers then shared what they had learned with their students, who in turn realised that they had the agency to create a real difference in the spaces they inhabit. They were shown how to strategically make small changes that reduce waste and unrenewable-energy consumption. They were introduced to virtual platforms where they could connect with others who are passionate about climate change.
They were given the tools to build clubs, which spur communities into action to create a greener future, and in doing so, alert local authorities to the importance of the cause.
The project hopes to increase active citizenship in climate change, and will conclude in 2024. GreenCape provides hope for the future of South Africa’s natural environment — and its people.
When given the right tools and information, any individual can make a change in her immediate environment