UNICEF Zimbabwe has appointed Nkosilathi Nyathi (17) as a UNICEF Youth Climate Advocate to advance the climate and environment agenda in Zimbabwe and mobilize other young people to join the fight against climate change. The appointment comes as UNICEF commemorates World Children’s Day on November 20, under the theme “Reimagining a greener more sustainable future, for every child”.
Nkosi, who resides in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, has been an advocate for climate change and environmental issues since he was 10 years old when he actively participated in his school’s environmental club. Since 2015, he has been engaged with UNICEF as well as Greenline Africa advocating for climate action in many fora and events and giving a 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 Nkosi. “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,” he said.
“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. We are becoming more certain that we will be heard and those in power will listen,” he said.
Over the years Nkosi’s 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.
He travelled to the COP25 Climate Summit in Spain in 2019. Nkosi joined 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 2020, Nkosi participated in the sixth session of the African Regional Summit on Sustainable Development in Victoria Falls, making a passionate opening speech in the presence of world leaders including the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“UNICEF has worked with and supported Nkosi in his climate activism for some years and we are proud to be part of his journey and excited to formalize his appointment as a UNICEF Youth Climate Advocate,” said UNICEF Zimbabwe Representative, Laylee Moshiri. “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.”
World Children’s Day is UNICEF’s global day of action for children, by children, marking the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on November 20, 1989. On this day, UNICEF advocates and raises awareness for the most pressing issues facing children. This year, World Children’s Day is taking place during one of the most unique and challenging moments in our history as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the related political, social, and economic upheavals impact the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF remains on the front line, delivering for every child.