Strengthening the European Youth Climate Movement: Showcasing and Supporting the Unheard
When young people from marginalised communities engage in environmental activism, they face many structural barriers to make their voices heard and achieve long-lasting changes. Featuring their perspectives is key to making the youth climate movement truly far-reaching, representative, and inclusive.
Why do we need to amplify marginalised voices within the youth climate movement?
In the past two years, young people have been holding politicians accountable for climate action and environmental protection in an unprecedented way. At YEE, our members work every day to empower young people in tackling the twin social and climate crises.
However, environmental youth movements remain mostly made up of privileged young Europeans from homogeneous socioeconomic backgrounds – a middle-class or upper-middle-class – with sufficient financial resources and access to good education.
Marginalised young people are not disengaged by these issues, yet they remain largely under-represented within the youth climate movement. They often have to worry about security, discrimination, and resource scarcity before they can think over the consequences of climate change and environmental degradation.
Climate justice for all
Marginalised communities are the most impacted by the effects of global warming and ecosystem destruction, yet they have the fewest resources to deal with these effects. Only by involving those at the frontline of the twin social and climate crises will the youth climate movement be able to promote climate justice for all.
Despite this, very few funding opportunities are currently being channeled towards better inclusivity of marginalised young Europeans in youth green NGOs and grassroots movements. There is a lack of knowledge within the climate youth movement on how to include them in decision-making processes.
Together, let’s make the youth climate movement more inclusive!
What are the aim and objectives of this project?
With our project, we want to support young people with fewer opportunities in entering the climate movement. We want to actively engage marginalised Europeans between the age of 12 and 30 years old, through participation in community projects and local decision-making processes.
To this end, we will:
What activities will we implement to reach our objectives?
General - From November 2021 to March 2023: Stories of youth climate activists from marginalised communities
Over the course of the project, we will publish a series of nine articles about young activists from marginalised communities. We want to provide them with a platform to share their stories, celebrate their successes and expose the challenges they face. By showcasing the stories of activists they can relate to, we hope to inspire other young people with fewer opportunities to join the youth climate movement.
First stage – From November 2021 to February 2022: Safeguarding policy and training course for YEE volunteers and staff members
To make our organisation safe and inclusive for all, we will develop a comprehensive safeguarding policy and conduct four internal training sessions for YEE staff members and volunteers. As we learn about safeguarding standards and set up concrete mechanisms to prevent harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect, we will develop our internal capacity of working with marginalised and vulnerable people.
Second stage – From March 2022 to February 2023: Online training course and mentorship program for Member Organisations
Together with an expert, we will develop an online training course and a mentorship program on working with marginalised people for youth workers of Member Organisations. We will provide at least twenty youth workers with knowledge on specifics of working with marginalised young people, and tools to engage them into environmental projects and initiatives.
Third stage – From March 2022 to March 2023: Sub-grants to Member Organisations
Building on the training and the mentorship program, YEE will sub-grant eight projects to Member Organisations that participated in the first stage of the project. In doing so, we aim at building their capacities to continuously work with young people with fewer opportunities. At least forty young people with fewer opportunities will directly benefit from the projects implemented by our Member Organisations.
Fourth stage – From September 2022 to March 2023: Publication, campaign and advocacy
We want to widely share the outcomes of the training course, the key learning from the mentorship program and the local actions of our sub-granted organisations. Therefore, we will produce a publication with hand-on strategies and tools for youth workers on working with young people with fewer opportunities.
We will also run a communication campaign to disseminate the publication and foster inclusivity within the youth climate movement. Last but not least, we will facilitate the participation of marginalised young people in the Youth Climate Hub to exchange ideas and knowledge on advocacy strategies for European and global decision-making events.