Zimbabwean teen gets UNICEF role

Zimbabwe

Cecilia Kamuputa

A Victoria Falls based advocate for climate change and environmental issues, Nkosilathi Nyathi (17), has been appointed the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Youth Climate Advocate to advance the climate and environment agenda in Zimbabwe and mobilise other young people to join the fight against climate change.

This comes as UNICEF commemorates the World Children’s Day on November 20, 2020, running under the theme “Reimagining a greener more sustainable future, for every child”.

Speaking on the appointment, UNICEF Zimbabwe Representative, Laylee Moshiri said they had worked with and supported Nkosi in his climate activism for some years and were proud to be part of his journey and excited to formalise his appointment as a UNICEF Youth Climate Advocate.

“Climate Change is a child rights issue, and it very important that awareness is raised among young people, by young people to drive hope for a better future – one with a safe and secure environment,” added Moshiri.

Nyathi has been an advocate for climate change and environmental issues since he was 10 years old, actively participating in his school’s environmental club and since 2015, he has been engaged with UNICEF as well as Greenline Africa, advocating for climate action in many fora and events, lending the voice of young people about climate change in Zimbabwe and Africa.

“This appointment gives me a greater opportunity to lend a voice for the youth around climate change because we are the future,” said Nyathi.

“I am excited and ready to work with others in saving our planet and protecting children from the impact of climate change and environmental degradation.”

Over the years, his passion for climate change issues, which stem from the continued environmental degradation he has witnessed in his hometown, has motivated him to participate in important climate change initiatives around the world.

“I live it, my family and friends live it too. I stand in solidarity with countless young people who want their voices to be heard and acted upon for climate action,” added Nyathi.

“We are becoming more certain that we will be heard and those in power will listen.”

In 2019, Nyathi travelled to the COP25 Climate Summit in Spain, joining the voices of children and young people from around the world who called on world leaders to urgently address the climate and biodiversity challenges facing the world today.

In February this year he participated in the sixth session of the African Regional Summit on Sustainable Development in Victoria Falls.