From the Climate Crisis To the Child Rights Crisis

We may have often heard that climate change is real and many environmental problems are difficult to solve because of the lack of awareness and real action from all of us. With that being said, have you been aware of the climate change impact could be far more than what you have been thinking?

At Twibbonize there are lots of environmental campaigns. We’ve come to one of them that comes from a movement by a community from Jember, East Java Province, Indonesia called Riung Aksi. This community focuses not only on the environment and climate but also on children. Let’s jump to the story behind this group of young people that might wake you up from the indulgence of life on this vulnerable earth in fact.

But first, what is the relationship between climate change and children?

Children are subjects who have a high risk and are vulnerable to the impact of the climate crisis. It can be said that climate change is causing a crisis in children’s rights. How come?

Based on a report from save the children, children born in 2020 will experience an average of twice as many forest fires, 2.8 times as experiencing crop failure, 2.6 times experiencing drought, 2.8 times will go through river flooding, and are 6.8 times more likely to experience heatwaves throughout their lifetime compared to people born in 1960.

So, do you know how vulnerable is the current generation of children now? Floods, landslides, droughts, and more, those environmental conditions become more and more alarming and are homework for all of us. People at Riung Aksi also realize that this reality will affect the children’s rights, so together they prepare the children to become a strong generation in facing the climate crisis in the future through education.

Early education about the environment to children is very important, and it requires special tips and tricks to teach the children about this. This is where Riung Aksi’s role as the main actor, contributes to suppressing the climate crisis by actively participating in climate change control agendas.

With a Twibbonize frame, Riung Aksi seeks to provide an understanding of the climate crisis and foster a spirit of environmental concern among children and youth (especially those aged 13 to 21 years) through the Youth in Green Action Challenge movement as part of their joint action with the Plan International Indonesia Foundation (Plan Indonesia).

Youth In Green Action Challenge • by Riung Aksi

Link: twb.nz/ygacriung

Interesting activity in this movement is called 5 Days Youth in Green Action Challenge, where participants will accept a challenge for five days from March 11 to 15, 2022 as the first step to cultivating habits that can reduce the impact of the climate crisis. The challenges in the five days include:

  1. Limit Your Gadget Use!
    Save on your gadget by turning off GPS location, Wi-Fi, and cellular data when not in use. You can also limit the use of running applications, and doing other positive activities rather than playing with gadgets.
  2. Finish your meal
    Participants can buy and cook enough food for themselves, and try to eat only what they like to eat in order to avoid the leftovers. Participants can also make plans before buying food so they can shop according to their needs only. In case they can’t finish their food, they can store it in the refrigerator and eat it again later on. They can also collect the leftover organic food ingredients to be used as compost or animal feed, so there will be no food waste.
  3. Let’s Bring Tumblr!
    Participants can bring a tumblr when they are traveling instead use single-use packaged drinks when they want to buy a beverage.
  4. Learn About Climate
    Participants can read books, articles, journals, or news related to the climate crisis issue, or watch any related video or movie.
  5. Voice Out Your Opinion!
    Participants were asked to take a photo with a speech bubble of their opinion in speaking about the climate crisis.

This kind of movement that invites participants to take real actions is certainly carried out with certain monitoring regulations and techniques from the organizer, that’s what Riung Aksi does, such as;

  • Participants must follow the @riungaksi and @planindonesia Instagram accounts, so they can monitor the implementation of the challenge and there will be more coverage of this movement to inspire.
  • In posting the Instagram story every day during the 5 days challenge, participants use the template provided, which describes their activities in an effort to tackle the climate crisis of this movement.
  • Participants are asked to fill in the feedback challenge form every day on the link provided by Riung Aksi.
  • Children involved in this movement are permission and knowledge from their parents and need to complete the consent form provided.
  • Participants need to take part in the whole series of Youth in Green Action Challenge activities and are expected to enliven other Riung Action events both in the WhatsApp group or on social media.
  • There will be reminders about the activities to the participants from the mentors and the organizing team.
  • Participants will also receive daily materials to provide an understanding of why they should do in the current climate crisis situation.

Have you ever participated in this kind of activity? It will be more fun if you join it with your friends! Moreover, in this movement, Riung Aksi provides e-certificates for participants who successfully complete the 5 Days Youth In Green Action Challenge and prizes for the 3 best participants with the most interesting videos or photos.

Participating in this kind of movement means that you have taken real action to save the earth to be a comfortable place for us to live in the present and the future.

No matter how people think about this movement, small or large the action we take, has a meaning, as long as it is a good movement. Riung Aksi itself only targeted 30 participants to be involved in this movement. It sounds very disproportionate to its problem formulation, but as a result, Riung Aksi managed to exceed the target they had set.

“Maybe this is just a small action, but if we do it together and last for a long time, it will definitely have an impact,” said a team member of the Riung Aksi, Zakiya who is often called Kiki.

This movement is a forum for young people to be more resilient in facing the climate crisis with several disaster mitigation and adaptation efforts provided by Riung Aksi. In this way, Riung Aksi also hopes that there will be an increase in participants’ understanding of preventing the climate crisis and increasing young people’s concern for the environment.

“Inshallah, by speaking out with Riung Aksi, more young people will be interested and more aware of their own environment,” said another team member of the Riung Aksi team, Nofida.

The passion and commitment of people at Riung Aksi for the environment are undoubted. For them, as agents of change, young people must have the courage to voice out the urgency of our earth today.

“Just do it, even though our educational content is only released once a week, it’s okay, the important thing is to just go ahead,” said Kiki.

Kiki shared to us that “what made me sad was when I saw a picture of a seal entangled in a fishing net until I could really see the flesh because the skin was torn. I imagine it must be very painful since seawater is salty, the wound must be really sore. So from there, I was finally touched and moved.”

After knowing more about this movement, the people behind this great community turned out to be part of the best young leaders elected by the youth festival for climate and humanity organized by Plan Indonesia together with Teens Go Green and Australian Aid, and they are all also the participant of Girls leadership Program on Climate Change initiated by Plan Indonesia. From being involved in those organizations, the Riung Aksi team has went through training with professionals and environmental activists on climate change, leadership, and gender equality.

The actions of Riung Aksi are indeed inseparable from their own personal experiences and feelings. One more story from Kiki about her the area she currently living, that floods often happen during the rainy season.

“The river has a lot of garbage, so when it floods, the water overflows and gets in the houses,” said Kiki.

“Surrounding me, it is lack young people who want to work in the environmental field. There are some… instead most parents are who are more focused, even the old ones. Well as we are the young, why not us?” Nofida added.

Riung Aksi won’t stop inviting you to take part in protecting the earth, that is why Riung Aksi makes their community a means of education for young people to be more resilient in facing the climate crisis by using social media wisely. Not only Youth in Green Action Challenge, but there are also and there will be various other activities from Riung Aksi which are always welcome your involvement, such as IG Live which discusses climate change issues, the offline activity of “Learning with Riung Aksi”, weekly online educational content via Instagram, the development of a library in the Jember district, and Riung Voice as a collaboration of Instagram content reels about the environment.

Awareness is not enough in dealing with our current environmental conditions. So, the point is “don’t be afraid to act, although maybe our movements is a small moves, but if we do it together, it will definitely have an impact. What can we give to the earth as our one and only place to live” said Kiki.