24 June 2021, Impact of Our Work

  Fifty thousand students raised their voices for action on climate at School Strike 4 Climate rallies around Australia in May – fighting for a future that many see as slipping out of their hands.

  “I would describe myself as angrily optimistic” says Carina, 17, who attended the School Strike in Melbourne. Save the Children spoke to a number of the young people attending the rallies and found that Carina’s view is more positive than most.

  

  photo: Carina

  Credits: Pablo Barnes

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  Children are scared of the consequences of climate change being felt right now across Australia and what it means for the country they love. School Striker, Areni is only 12 years old, but she sees clearly the danger climate change poses.

  I love nature and animals, and it is so sad for me to see documentaries about nature falling apart and animals dying.

  Areni – School Striker 12

  

  Photo: Areni

  Credits: Pablo Barnes

  Many reasons brought children to the streets on May 21. But all of them had one thing in common: a fear that if we keep going down our current path, the consequences will be dire.

  We have seen the bushfires, we have seen the floods, and it is only going to get worse.

  Steph – School Striker 17

  

  Photo: Steph

  Credits: Pablo Barnes

  The 2019/20 bushfires in Australia were a turning point for many young people, as climate change touched their lives in a destructive and personal way. Mackenzie, 15, a school striker organiser in Warragul remembers vividly evacuating her house:

  When the fire first started on the night of March 1st 2019, we didn’t think it would become so bad. But by the next morning there was ash falling from the sky, and by lunch, my town and the towns surrounding were told to evacuate. My family and I were lucky to get out on time.

  Mackenzie, 15

  She is taking to the streets “because I don’t want to see more people being affected by bushfires.”

  Save the Children Deputy CEO Mat Tinkler attended the rally with his two children and said the children attending the strike were making their voices heard loud and clear.

  “It’s important for children to have their say about what’s affecting them and their futures,” Tinkler said speaking at the strike.

  Save the Children is a child rights agency at our core. That means we’re here to amplify the voices of children, to listen to what they have to say and make sure their opinions are represented in what happens in the world around them.

  Mat Tinkler – Deputy CEO, Save the Children

  “I don’t think adults are listening enough to kids. The reality is children have done the least to create the problem of climate change but they will have to pay the most for it.”

  The climate crisis is a threat to every child on earth. We must act fast. We must act now. And the first step involves listening to children.

  

  Photo: Mat Gardiner

  Credits: Pablo Barnes

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