youth leadership

Happy International Women’s Day Greta. We Salute You!

8 March 2020

Seldom does it happen that one name can conjure up such strong sentiment.  Greta was named Time magazines person of year (2019) and her name will go down in history along side Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev to name a few.  Climate Strike was the Collins Dictionary word of year (2019) and on the 20th September 2019 the largest climate strike in world history saw 4 million ‘Fridays for Future’ protesters strike across the world.  This is a stark contrast to just one year previous to this when a 15 year old Greta, a solitary protester, skipped school to sit outside the Swedish parliament, protesting for more action against climate change.

What does Greta want?  Well, we know what she doesn’t want.  She doesn’t want praise, she doesn’t want to be invited to meetings and she doesn’t want to become a politician.  She wants everyone to unite behind the science and to take action.

Due to air travel having a heavy carbon footprint she travels mostly by train across Europe to visit and support climate strikes.  This meant that when she decided to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York she had to enlist the help of Captain Boris Herrmann and his schooner.  Boris’ schooner runs on solar power and underwater turbines, therefore emitting no carbon.  The journey took 13 days and Greta, along with her father and a Swedish film maker shared the small space which had no shower, no kitchen and no toilet!

Greta has talked openly about her Aspergers as being her “superpower” and admits that she did try to conceal it, not in order to hide it, but because “ignorant people still see it as an illness or something negative”.  She also tweeted “when haters go after your looks and differences it means they have nowhere left to go.  And then you know you’re winning!”

Greta recently met her ‘role model’ Malala Yousafzai in Oxford where she is studying.  Malala is a campaigner for girls’ education from Pakistan. She was shot by the Taliban in 2012, when she was just 14 years old, but continued her work and became the youngest person ever to win the world-famous Nobel Pease Price in 2014.  After the meeting, Malala commented on twitter saying “She’s the only friend I’d skip school for”.

Happy International Women’s day folks – never underestimate the power of one young girl!

On the 2nd Youth Project Podcast Sam, Julie and Mike talked about the rise of Greta, what she stands for and what small things we are personally doing to help combat climate change. Follow the link below to listen.

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https://learnandexperience.com/the-youth-project-podcast/