Creative Thinking from the Children of Nigeria

Second article of the Children as Champions of Climate Change - stories from all around the Planet series. Students surprised project leaders with their openness and creativity.

The Global Climate Change Youth Movement is set to beat the Guinness World Record 2018 by engaging young people to create 100'000 climate change postcards. This project by The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC is a unique approach to engage children and youths to take immediate actions to stop global warming in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

As leaders and decision makers prepare to advance Climate Action during the Conference of Parties (COP24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poland; Media for Community Change Initiative, an implementing partner in Nigeria has raised the voice of young people. Undoubtedly, children and youths make up the generations that can drive towards climate compatible as they will have to live longer with tomorrow’s climate. Their message is;

"We are the future - Give us a chance. Stop global warming 1.5°C."

According to the Programs Director, 'Seyifunmi Adebote, Climate Change is a topic that must be well understood by young people across the world, particularly on the African continent where most of the impacts are felt.

"Working with students - ages 9 to 20 in secondary schools across North Central region of Nigeria, this project has not only presented our team the opportunity to convey the subject of Climate Change, it has greatly helped us to guide them to creatively express their understanding of this global subject. For us at Media for Community Change Initiative, this is fulfilling!"

Media for Community Change Initiative's Executive Director, Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun described Young Africans as smart, ambitious, inquisitive and hard working with numerous obstacles limiting them from reaching their full potentials.

"One thing stood out, their openness to learn more about Climate Change and the limitless expression of their creativity. With more enlightenment and an efficient support structure, perhaps they can convert these postcards expressions to practical Climate action to safeguard our environment."

At Startrite Schools, one of the private schools reached in Abuja; giving a vote of thanks on behalf of her colleagues, the Senior Prefect Ms. Awurl said:

"Thank you for helping us understand Climate Change. Before now, I've heard about it but never understand what it meant and how it affects us as young people in Nigeria. Now that I understand, I'll tell my friends and also act in ways that will make our environment more conducive to live in."

Most intriguing was the experience with students from the School without Wall, a learning center for IDP (Internally Displaced People) children displaced by insurgency and religious crises in the Northeast. Crowded in a densely populated settlement in Garki District of Abuja.

In very limited time with following extensive explanation of Climate Change is both Hausa (native dialect) and English, the students, in a short while, surprised us with their creativity despite the fact that they were not in the right learning environment. We believe the students in this IDP Camp can do more and be more when provided with necessary support and efficient structure.

In Nigeria, participating in this project were students aged 9 to 20 from the following schools: School Without Walls; Junior Secondary School, Garki; Stella Maris Schools, Abuja; Startrite Schools, Abuja;  Calvary Love Academy, Nasarawa; Government Primary School, Nasarrawa.

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