As someone who treasures nature and is often disillusioned by the lack of action taken to protect it, I still have hope that the future holds promise…
Why? Because of the youth leaders, who are stepping up for the environment.
On this World Children’s Day, I want to recognise just a few of the many out there, who are making a difference:
- Co-founding the Zero Hour nonprofit as a teenager, Jamie Margolin had a clear path toward climate activism. Since then she’s testified for climate legislation and authored her own book, Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It.
- After researching the possible reasons behind the heart palpitations he was experiencing in school one day, and then realising they could be related to the air pollution issues in Los Angeles, Kevin J. Patel became a major part of the climate movement, founding OneUpAction in 2019.
- Since age 8, Autumn Peltier has been an advocate for clean water across Canada, both for Indigenous communities like her own and the greater population. She now acts as the Chief Water Commissioner for Anishinabek Nation.
- With a few of her friends, Jasilyn Charger founded the One Mind Youth Movement that focuses on Outreach, Unity and Education to help teens cope with mental health issues. In addition, she helped organize a major campaign to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline from operating. The battle for the good of the environment there continues …
- Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Greta Thunberg, who began the Fridays for Future movement. Because of her hard work, she’s risen to become one of the leading names in environmental justice.
I applaud them all, and those not mentioned, who are doing great things to help our planet, and all of its creatures, survive.
To empower our youth to be good stewards of Mother Earth, we must make sure that the environment is part of their education from the very start. Thankfully, there are resources available that align with these values.
For example, the Captain Planet Foundation has programs for kids that focus on garden-based learning, leadership skills for developing future changemakers and endangered species studies.
Jane Goodall’s long-running Roots and Shoots program, teaches children through a simple, 4-step formula, how to make an impact in their own communities, and helps educators by providing support and curriculum.
There are also free educational resources available surrounding soil health and advocacy for both students and teachers, which you can access on the Kiss the Ground website. If you haven’t seen the documentary about this movement (which I helped Executive Produced) called Kiss the Ground, please give it a look. It’s streaming on Netflix worldwide.
Of course The White Feather Foundation has free children’s activities (including a few new memory-based games) you can find here on our website. My children’s books, which all have environmental themes, are available for purchase at julianlennon,com.
We’re also pleased to partner with groups like United Way Australia, which completed the Jump for Literacy campaign earlier this week. The White Feather Foundation joined the fun to help kids gain access to books and educational supplies in the remote Aboriginal community of Urapunga, which is located in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Together with the other teams, our supporters helped raise over $55,000 for the cause. Thanks sincerely to all who donated.
I’m also inspired by the continued success of our ‘Cynthia Lennon Scholarship for Girls’ recipients. Girls like Diana, who are pursuing their dreams and thriving in the process. We collect donations year-round to help fund these important scholarships. If you’d like to help, the link to donate to the Cynthia Lennon Scholarship for Girls is here.
To all of the children making a difference, and the educators, parents and guardians who enable them to thrive, thank you for giving us hope for a brighter future.
Photo by Julian Lennon; taken during his trip to Ethiopia with Charity Water, 2014. Follow Julian on Instagram at @julespicturepalace to see over 9,000 of his images.