Emmanuel, 31 years joined GP Liberia in December 2020 after participating in the Climate Justice Challenge. The challenge gave all young people present a platform to understand why empowering the communities on the climate justice was important. It also provided them with the space to develop their action plans on how they will disseminate information and increase awareness at different levels. He is originally from Sierra Leone but moved to Liberia where the rest of his family members live.
“Growing up in Sierra Leone gave me the opportunity to learn about the causes and effects of climate change after the mudslide disaster in 2017. Meeting up with Global platform Liberia during the Climate Justice Challenge made me to realize the importance of climate justice activism in my community to ensure that community members have knowledge and skills on how respond and adapt to its impacts,” says Emmanuel.
Emmanuel runs a youth empowerment club in his community in Matadi, Montserrado County. He trains young people in digital engagement and climate justice advocacy. He believes digital engagement will enable young people to mobilize and organize effectively given the high numbers of young people using digital spaces. Through his active mobilizing and organizing, nine young people (four female and five male) have taken interest in advocacy and awareness actions at a community school where they live. He uses pictorial presentations to stimulate discussions with the students so they fully understand the subject matter. Every Friday is a GREEN FRIDAY as Emmanuel and a team of community volunteers mobilize and organize clean ups and climate change pep talk.
Emmanuel’s activism feeds into ActionAid Liberia’s (AAL) Country Strategic Paper II, Priority three, which aims to promoting resilient livelihoods and climate justice. Over the past one year through support from DANIDA through ActionAid Denmark, AAL has provided technical support and funds to youth led organizations to mobilize and organize youth engagement on climate justice and electoral accountability. This engagement which is under the Youth Buzz Pilot Project has successfully managed to engage with over 15 youth led organizations, networks and movements. The project has shifted power to young people who have been able to successfully claim space in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) review and influenced a youth track under the process. Emmanuel’s climate justice advocacy has increased young people’s knowledge on what constitutes climate change and it has also and has given impetus to more young people to engage in local organizing and climate actions. The Youth Buzz project has also reached out to universities, high schools and colleges in Montserrado and Bong Counties and this has been key in unlocking and pushing for a youth agenda on climate justice in Liberia. There are many other young people that have been inspired by his digital activism and are learning from him as well.
The Youth Buzz project is being jointly implemented by AAL through the Global Platform, Activista Liberia as well as Youth Bridge and Potential Leaders for Sustainable Development in Liberia.