The climate crisis is one of the most urgent issues facing humanity today, and everyone is affected by it in one way. The impacts are global in scope and unprecedented in scale, from shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding to pollution in cities, which increases health risks. An immediate intervention needs to be made.
The African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) Project is a five-year program
funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conceived by PACJA, FEMNET, Oxfam, Natural Justice and the African Youth Commission, the Consortium aims to strengthen an African movement for climate justice, amplifying the voice of Africans who are at the frontline of the climate crisis. By working with women, youth and local communities – as well as other traditionally side-lined groups, such as people with disabilities – to call on governments and the private sector to act on the climate crisis and ensure the rights of all people to live a decent and dignified life in a healthy environment are met.
Women, young people and indigenous peoples are most exposed to climate hazards and less able to adapt and recover as a result of poverty, illiteracy and lack of knowledge of climate change and access to shelter, food and sanitation. Adolescent girls and young women are vital in achieving climate justice. In other for them to engage meaningfully, they need to have knowledge of climate justice and gain the necessary tools to educate their peers and engage in actions that influence decision-making on just policies; To achieve this, we have been able to establish climate clubs in 3 schools in Benue, Nasarawa and Niger state. We have specifically targeted girls in these schools and will leverage these clubs to ensure that young girls are empowered to take leadership roles and have their voices heard in discussions about climate and gender justice.
To mark the International Day of the Girl Child 2023, Education as a Vaccine, in collaboration with its partners Esteem Hub International in Niger State, ECCAI in Benue State and Beacon Youth Initiative in Nasarawa State, leveraged the established clubs to carry out a sensitisation aimed at demonstrating solidarity and fostering discussions about the boundless potential of the girl-child. During these visits, girls were enlightened on becoming agents of change and advocates for climate justice within their schools and local communities.