The Healthy and Environmentally Friendly Youth (HEY) Campaign is embarking on a number of ambitious projects as it continues to fight climate change.
Founder of the Campaign, UNICEF Youth Advocate Ashley Lashley announced on Thursday during the HEY Campaign launch 2022 that this year there will be 200 HEY Ambassadors across the world, between ages 10 and 27.
She announced during the virtual launch that for the first time, the campaign has introduced regional focal points to embark on a multiplicity of exciting activities both virtually and in-person in the different regions.
“Our overall campaign this year will focus on climate change and its impact on women and children’s equality and health throughout the campaign. We will be building the capacity of our ambassadors and regional focal points through multiple training sessions on climate change, health, and gender. Our HEY ambassadors will receive journalism training from journalists globally who will be prepared to mentor this group,” she said.
Lashley noted that following the training, the ambassadors will be equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge on how to research and report on climate change. She also indicated that this year, the campaign will be taking a practical approach to its HEY Parliament where ambassadors will move from debating practical solutions, to managing assigned ministries.
She said a HEY Global Climate Fund will also be introduced to assist climate change activists with a grant towards their climate projects.
The initiative is a Caribbean-initiated campaign on climate change and health with global outreach, seeking to build bridges between youth in the Caribbean and those around the world.
Representative of UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Dr Aloys Kamuragiye commended HEY for launching the third phase of the campaign. In his remarks, Dr Aloys said that while children in the Caribbean are facing mounting risks as a result of the escalating impact of climate change and environmental degradation, the recent response to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that the world has the tools and experience to also fight climate change with the help of new and innovative ideas.
Dr Aloys said he was pleased to see the HEY Campaign building bridges between climate, the environment and health.
He also applauded the campaign for seeking to address the impact of climate change on women and children.
The representative encouraged the HEY ambassadors to keep engaging in global discussions on climate change, to shape their future.
“As the Caribbean is particularly vulnerable to climate change, I urge you to continue to keep up your advocacy both around the Eastern Caribbean, and also globally. And as young people you can reach audiences who typically would not be interested or involved in these types of discussions. It is important to have your voice heard in the global arenas. The decision makers must listen to the children and youth when making decisions,” he said. (AH)