Sauti

(“Sauti” means “voices” in Swahili and “my voice” in Arabic)

Background At 350.org, we are undertaking many different approaches to building a global movement to combat climate change in Africa and around the world.  One of the issues here in Africa that we are most concerned about is the way that stories about climate are told.  Most of the time stories are focused on those who are suffering under climate-related droughts, floods, and other serious stresses.  Often the stories are pleas to polluters in developed countries to take responsibility for their actions, which is obviously very important. But such stories rarely take a look at the Africans who are actively tackling climate change – facing great challenges with courage, commitment and creativity. What the Sauti Campaign is about? In the Sauti campaign, we are partnering with 5 grassroots climate leaders from different regions of Africa to amplify and celebrate their stories, and support them to further develop their skills and confidence across the range of traditional and new social media. The timeline will be from early October to COP 17 (the next UNFCCC international climate negotiation conference in South Africa in late November/early December).  Through blog posts, press articles, and various other forms of media, these organisers will keep the world updated about their challenges and successes in organising, the issues they specifically are working on, and the stories about the communities they are part of and/or liaise with. The Voices of…                 Mbemba from Senegal has been raising awareness among communities and decision makers since 2007 on environmental protection issues and he’s lead mass tree planting efforts. Sarah from Cairo, Egypt, is a young, dynamic climate activist using art and social media to get attention to a range of issues. Winnie in Kenya has been a major mover of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, active on the continental and international scene, while leading various campaigns at home. Ephrème from the DRC has been mobilising communities and engaging officials in the eastern area of his country to protect threatened areas. Matema Thosago in South Africa runs a community-based, non-profit environmental youth organisation, and has been motivating and mobilising youth in her area to participate in environment and climate change activities.   INTERESTED IN BROADCASTING? If you are interested in broadcasting/distributing such stories through your network, please contact Samantha at samantha[at]350.org. LINKS TO ALL BLOG POSTS: Sarah Rifaat, Egypt: “How I became a climate activist.” Ephrème Hategeka Bwishe, DRC: “On the front to protect Congo forests.” Mbemba Doucouré in Senegal: “We refuse to sit back.” Winnie Asist in Kenya: “In my own words”