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“We can change the world”

26 October 2022, Impact of Our Work, Climate

Meet the generation of children fighting climate change head on

Oriana* is 15 years old. When she was a baby, her family fled violence in Venezuela. Now, she lives in a small village on the outskirts of a Colombian city near the Venezuelan border. 

I have a group of friends and we have many dreams. I love dreaming with them. And I know one day we’ll make those dreams come true.


As an 11-year-old, Oriana helped other children and women in her village to build a house called “Chica Street” made from plastic bottles filled with sand. 

Inspired by this project, Oriana now makes ecological handicrafts out of things that people consider rubbish. Looking forward, she dreams of building an association of empowered female artisans who do the same.

We have to protect this world because that’s the future for our children and for us. We can do something for climate change … We can change the world. It’ll be difficult, because people are unconscious, but little by little we’ll do it.


Krishna, 17, has set up a street theatre group using performance to help raise awareness
about climate change in his community. 
Photo: Saumya Khandelwal / Save the Children


It is not what we should do; it is what we must do.


Krishna, 17, dreams of being a successful actor and social worker. He joined Save the Children’s child champions programme when he was 10, and at 13 became the leader of a group of young activists in his neighbourhood who stand up for children’s rights. 

He has married his passions by setting up a street theatre group who put on plays and puppet shows to help raise awareness about climate issues.

“We conduct street plays together with the children from the slum … Acting has become my platform to spread awareness among people.”

Krishna believes that collective action from all facets of society is necessary to reduce pollution. 

“We are talking about our future, so everyone will have to do it,” says Krishna, 17.

Esther, 17, Climate Champion outside her home knocked down during floods, Zomba, Malawi.
Photo: Thoko Chikondi / Save the Children

“To help with mitigating the climate crisis, I plant trees.”

Esther is a climate change champion in her area. She learned about the impacts of climate change at school, which was sponsored by Save the Children.

In recent years, she saw her house knocked down by floods while she and her family were inside. Her family lost their crops and people in her community became sick with diseases brought on by a mixture of drought and flood. Since becoming a climate change champion, she has worked with people in her community to replant trees and educate the people around her.

“If I was the president, I would encourage people to plant trees and stop smoke-producing behaviour, because these behaviours make the country face a bigger climate crisis,” says Esther, 17.

Oriana, Krishna and Esther are part of a generation of hope, a generation of children fighting climate change head on. Save the Children has held child hearings over the last few months and has heard from almost 55,000 children across 41 countries. Our new report, Generation Hope: 2.4 billion reasons to end the global climate and inequality crisis, delves into the issues children are facing and shares their perspectives. Their creativity, resilience and ambitions are unbreakable. World leaders, take note!

Children are facing more extreme weather in an increasingly unequal world. Climate related droughts and flooding destroy crops, livestock and livelihoods. Millions of children are facing a hunger crisis, the scale of which the world has never seen before

It doesn’t have to be this way. Children are speaking up and leading the way towards a better world. We need to listen to and act on children’s views in decision making that affects children’s rights and the planet. It’s time for us to follow their lead.

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