Action Not Excuses: Meet the Youth Champions.

23rd March 2021

The planet is on fire. We are in a climate emergency. But young people are already taking action to fight it. Yorle, Fernando, Anu, Elibarick, Charlie, Emmelynn and Bidhya are seven inspiring Youth Champions taking action for the planet in their home countries. They are standing up for the planet and leading the way for Raleigh's global campaign, Action Not Excuses.

Meet the Action Not Excuses Youth Champions.

Elibarick, Tanzania

Youth Champion for Reverse Deforestation

Elibarick, 26, is an environmental activist from Tanzania. While volunteering with Raleigh International he saw first-hand the impacts of deforestation on Tanzania’s landscape. He’s leading a nationwide campaign, #KeshoTutachelewa (Tomorrow Is Too Late), to support young people across the country to plant 10 million trees by 2022.

Elibarick regularly takes to radio and social media to help raise awareness about the impact of climate change, and volunteers with a number of NGOs to ensure that positive environmental messages are being heard by as many young people as possible.

 


Charlie, United Kingdom

Youth Champion for Fight for Zero Waste

Charlie, 28, from the UK, is an environmental activist and the founder of zero waste shop and lifestyle channel Life Before Plastik. She was inspired to cut plastic from her life – and the lives of others after witnessing how climate change was impacting remote communities in Nepal. With plastic production expected to double by 2050, she is passionate about promoting sustainable actions people can take in their lives.

Outside of her work with Life Before Plastik, Charlie has an engaged following on social media and uses her online community to meet like-minded individuals, learn from them and to share information far and wide. She is regularly interviewed in the media, speaks at events, and has represented Raleigh International at national conferences.


Yorleny, Costa Rica

Youth Champion for Create Green Jobs

Yorleny (Yorle), 30, is a trained eco-tourism guide, firefighter and youth activist from the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica. Her volunteering experience with Raleigh International in 2012 made her passionate about working with rural communities and connecting with other young people on issues involving the environment.

As a Youth Champion for Green Jobs for the Action Not Excuses campaign, Yorle is speaking out about the need to invest in green technology so sustainable livelihoods can be created around the world.


Fernando, Nicaragua

Youth Champion for Create Green Jobs

Fernando Lara, 30, from the Carazo region of western Nicaragua, is a youth volunteer and activist. Fernando understands the impact of climate change better than most. Brought up in the countryside and a graduate in agronomy, Fernando is using his knowledge of rural life to support 250 young people on Raleigh Nicaragua’s ‘Dame Chance’ (Give Me A Chance) campaign into green jobs.

Working with 16 farming communities, he’s showing how through fighting deforestation – which in the last 50 years has more than halved Nicaragua’s forest cover – we can solve urgent problems like soil erosion and crop yield challenges. Fernando hopes his work creating green careers and better systems of food production in Nicaragua can be replicated elsewhere.


Anudari, Mongolia

Youth Champion for Create Green Jobs


Anu, 24, is from Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar. In the last 30 years, her home city has seen huge numbers of young people migrate there from the countryside in search of a better life – but has resulted in rising air pollution and overpopulation.

Anu’s team on Raleigh Mongolia’s Urban Nomads project is training rural young people to make composting toilets and organic fertiliser: businesses that can be started in rural communities to demonstrate that economic prosperity can be found outside the cities.


Bidhya, Nepal

Youth Champion for Fight for Zero Waste

Bidhya, 28, from Kathmandu in Nepal, is a volunteer and climate activist who is passionate about plastic. Or to be specific, getting rid of it. Despite the Nepali government banning low quality, single-use plastic bags back in 2015, fines aren’t enforced, and plastic pollution poses a growing problem to the city.

Bidhya’s team of volunteers on Raleigh International Nepal’s Kathmandu Recycles campaign are setting out to change that by raising public awareness of the law and lobbying government to commit to making the city free of single-use plastic forever.


Emmelynn, Malaysia

Youth Champion for Fight for Zero Waste

Emmelynn, 25, from Malaysia is a biomedical engineering student with a vision for an inclusive future. Frustrated at the prohibitive cost of prosthetics for the country’s indigenous peoples, she set out to change things – using open-source designs to produce 3D-printed limbs.

But not one to set the bar low, Emmelynn also found a way to make her work eco-friendly: by using recycled plastic in the production process. Her team, Circular Future, have lowered the price of prosthetics by 10x and are changing national attitudes towards women working in STEM.


Action Not Excuses is a platform for young people to raise their voices about the urgent issues facing our planet. Visit actionnotexcuses.org and join the movement.