Climate is changing, can you?
The Conference of Youth (COY) is a subsidiary project for the run of the United Nation's Climate Summit - Conference of Parties (COP). COY regroups international and regional Youth NGOs, civil society actors, and young people from around 114 countries to discuss climate change in a programme comprised of more than 225 single events.
A conference of youth on climate change is a unique event enlisting youngsters to take actions so as to make an impact and to make their voices heard at the COP (conference of parties). The objectives is to reinforce youth engagement and to maximize efforts so as to reduce the climate change consequences.
So as to make a greater impact, there exists small and simple changes that can be done every day. For instance, the tap water challenge is one of them. Tap water in Mauritius is safe, so why not minimize our intake of bottled water and consume more tap water. Why use a plastic straw when you can sip your drink? Why use plastic shopping bags when you can use a reusable shopping bag?
We have the capacity of changing ourselves and making a better impact so as to save the world. It’s high time that we start to do so. The climate is changing but so can we!
This year, the 13th edition of Local COY for Mauritius was organized by SYAH Mauritius, the Rotaract Club Mahebourg and National Youth Council (NYC) on the 1st and 2nd of November at Anse La Raie Youth Center.
After the submission of potential candidates to COY13, around 50 candidates were selected by the host committee to participate, learn and prove themselves to make an impact after COY13.
COY13 Mauritius was themed around an all camp-out adventure seminar to encourage the development of appreciating nature while participating into various activities.
All participants and OT members were picked up at common locations on the way to the venue for the seminar. From the very beginning of this adventure, words failed to describe the entertaining ambiance and friendly atmosphere set up among all these participants during the transit itself.
Mid-morning, everyone reached the venue, and the participants were assigned to a team for which they have to set up their camping tent with help each other. The conference was launched with a welcoming speech by the SYAH Mauritius representative, Sidharta Runganaikaloo, followed by an ice breaking session where each person present had to write a funny story about oneself which was shuffled with the chits of others and then redistributed so that participants make their way to finding the owner of the chit.
The day continued with an introductory speech of Mr. Laurent Fontanaud-Fontaine, director of the NGO, Terra Habilis Ocean Indien. The NGO engages in solidarity projects in the Indian ocean and provides agricultural know-how to locals so as to meet nutritional demands.
Shaama, member of SYAH Mauritius, made another ice breaking session with the participants, where the values of life were discussed. The candidates were then invited to participate in a 15 mins zumba session by participant Anusha Seechurn.
The conference continued with an introductory presentation of the different collaborators of COY13, namely SYAH Mauritius and the Rotaract Club of Mahebourg. Sidharta explained the different objectives of SYAH Mauritius and their mission to promote tap water among locals and tourists. President Chetan Gukhool from Rotaract Club of Mahebourg explained the mission of the club and gave an overall presentation of Rotary and Rotaract clubs of the region, emphasizing on the need of working together for the betterment of the society and how the Learning zone project is contributing to help kids from a very poor locality engage in education instead of social fleas. He also discussed the achievements and benefits of COY12.
One major project done by COY12 was the Climate March at Mahebourg on 3rd June 2017, since the objective of COY12 was to bring visibility and sensitization around climate change, and to organize COY13 so as to have a bigger team to make more concrete projects.
We were then honoured to assist to a workshop of Climate Justice by President Jeevesh Augnoo of the Rotary of Mahebourg, who made the participants understand why are issues such as climate change are occuring, how people daily actions have changed and how this promotes the issue, alongside with the need to make bring elements of certain policy in the laws so that people change their destructive habits.
Participants were made to think critically about what is currently happening around and the elements of Climate resilience by Mr. Yash Tohooloo.The first day’s workshops finished with two fun DIY crafting activities: Dye a Tshirt and 3D Crafts, both 100% sustainable and eco-friendly. Dinner was served and the day ended with a bonfire and a jamming session by participants.
Day 2 kick-started with President Chetan explaining the importance of COY13 and its objectives. Participants then were given a fun team building challenge, Protect the egg challenge, whereby 4 teams were given an egg and they had to make a creative, eco –friendly, sustainable packaging for the egg with resources in the vicinity of the conference, with the objective of keeping the egg safe from being broken and getting cracks.
Day 2 continued with a workshop on Disaster Preparedness Training by Mr. Elaheebocus, who discussed about the different tools in a safety kit, the different disasters that have and may occur in Mauritius and ways to help injured people during a disaster. Day 2 ended with distribution of Certificates of participation and dismantling of camping tents, with the determination to work together on upcoming projects on Climate Change.
We would like to thank all members of the organizing team - SYAH Mauritius, NYC, Rotaract - Volunteers, resource persons, and participants.
Big thumbs up to our sponsors and contributors for making this open camp-out seminar a successful one.
We hope that the moments at COY13 have been inked and dried in the memories of all attendees and will make the best of what they have acquired to benefit their direct environment, influence others into making a better change for Mother Nature.
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