UNICEF Clipper Race crew at Climate Action Forum
UNICEF Clipper Race crew to kids ‘you can make a difference for climate change’
SUVA, 19 January 2018 – Children from as far as Lautoka, Labasa and Tailevu in Fiji participated in a Climate Action Forum today with the UNICEF Clipper Yacht Race crew, which has sailed from the United Kingdom to Australia to bring attention to climate change and other issues affecting children.
The UNICEF Clipper yacht crew has sailed almost 20,000 nautical miles from Liverpool (UK) to the Whitsundays (Australia) and are bringing attention to child rights issues such as climate change, gender equality, birth registration, quality education, adequate nutrition, access to clean water and proper sanitation that children face around the world.
Crew member, Alison Ryan told the children of Fiji “You shouldn’t underestimate the power of young people like you. You can make changes. Keep doing what you’re doing and speaking out.”
The children spoke about how climate change has impacted their lives, their families and communities, while sharing messages of hope and resilience. With the Clipper Yacht Race crew berthed in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia, the Forum was held virtually via Skype at Jai Narayan College, in the capital Suva.
UNICEF Pacific Representative, Mr Sheldon Yett said, “UNICEF is proud of the children today who participated in the forum to showcase Fiji’s work on climate action and disaster resilience in schools.”
“Not only is this an opportunity for the children to educate others on the important actions UNICEF and the Fijian Government are taking to address climate change, it’s an opportunity for the crew to learn more about the Pacific countries, and issues affecting the children living here, as they sail past in the final leg of their race to China to raise funds to improve the lives of children around the world,” he added.
In attendance was Timoci Naulusala, from Naivicula Primary School in Tailevu and Shalvi Shakshi, from Nasarawaqa Primary School in Labasa, who both participated in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in November last year and spoke with passion about how action is needed to combat the effects of climate change.
Also in attendance were Jope Kingdom from Marist Brothers High School, Kevin Moceacagi, from Queen Victoria School in Tailevu, Shammah Prasad from SSKM College in Nadi and Shevik Shandil from Jai Narayan College in Suva, who were each able to provide detail on how they had been affected by climate change.
Following a virtual tour of the yacht, the children put together a message for the Clipper Race crew – Let’s sail together towards the horizon of alleviating climate change - which was written on the sail of the yacht.