Samoan youth get ready to “speak out” about climate change
Stories about ducks and a turtle, cyclones and floods are being shared with Samoan high school students at a training workshop in Apia, for the A2C2 project (Action Against Climate Change).
For the 30 students from three schools who are attending the workshop, it is the start of a three-month journey to create media products such as mini TV-documentaries, radio programs or newspaper stories, about climate change and its impacts on Samoa.
“This is a great way for these young people in Samoa to have their voices heard by community members and key decision makers, about youth concerns and actions in relation to climate change,” said Joelle Auffray, the co-founder of Apidae that is leading the initiative.
“Media can be a fun and effective way for these young people to create and deliver their personal stories, and stories about their families and communities who are being impacted by climate change.”
A Mentorship Program is a key component of the A2C2 project, where local Samoan ‘experts’ in climate change and media are volunteering their time to advise and support the high school students over the duration of the project.
“Through the Mentorship Program the students are being provided with climate science and media training to help them produce creative and targeted media content, to create awareness on local and regional climate change issues.”
“Working with journalists and professionals in climate change is also a great way for high school students to be exposed to, and better understand, these sectors – perhaps this will help them decide on future career prospects in the fields of media and climate change.”
The high school children from Leififi School, Maluafou College and Loto Taumafai converged at the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) office for the two-day training workshop that began on Thursday 29 and finishes Friday 30 August.
A2C2 is collaboration between Apidae Development Innovations, AusAID, the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS), and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. It involves five Pacific countries: Vanuatu and Samoa (in country media production), and Kiribati and Tuvalu (via the University of the South Pacific hub campus in Fiji).
A key focus of the initiative is partnering with each country’s ministries (Education, Environment or others), selected schools and media institutions to ensure the project is local and to create maximum awareness on the science and solutions to climate change.