Empowering young people to put their own projects into practice, YMCA’s Youth-Led Solutions Initiative has selected 35 youth-led climate action projects in 20 countries for funding worth a total of some $175,000.
The projects were first put forward at or soon after the Youth-Led Summit on Climate Action of October 2020.
The top categories of the solutions selected for funding are waste management, advocacy and activism, food security, the green economy and employment, and conservation. Many of the youth-led solutions aim to partner with the YMCA, government, the private sector, or other community organizations.
“The Youth-Led Solutions Summit Series’ guiding principles are underpinned by the fact that young people need to be leading the change. It’s important that we give them the stage at a higher level and enable them to have greater visibility” comments Tom Valentine, VP International, Y-USA
“I think this activity of making coin purses from second-hand clothes is very interesting. It takes less than three hours to make a new life for second-hand clothes, and contribute to preserving the environment. We communicate the idea of being friendly to the environment to the children, and seeing their happy smiles when we complete our work is my greatest achievement. From now on I will pass on the idea of reducing waste and regenerating life to more people. I’m working hard to make a contribution to the planet, and to build a greener future.” Words of a ‘Solution Team’ member working on the ‘Creating a Second Life for Second-hand Clothes’ project from Tainan YMCA in Taiwan.
Young people aged 15 to 35, from across the globe, and with or without YMCA affiliation, were given the opportunity to participate in the October 2020 YMCA Youth-Led Solutions Summit on Climate Action which saw a week of regional workshops and e-learning, followed by a global online summit which opened on 19th October and closed on 23rd October 2020. The young people formed Solution Teams of 6 to 15 individuals, which then fine-tuned their project proposals during and after the summit.
Each Solution Team was encouraged to identify a leadership coach (either on their own or with support from their local YMCA or Area Alliance of YMCAs) to assist them work towards their goals. They also used a Solutions Team support package to guide the development of their solution: they had two weeks to submit their project proposal.
Fund distribution was coordinated through the YMCA Area Alliances.
The following projects have been selected for funding
|Canada||YMCA Calgary||Community Roots||The project aims to challenge the status quo around climate change through education and developing a long-term strategy to build advocacy and action at the organizational level.||
|Canada||YMCAs of Quebec||
Guide to Creating a Civil Society Collective at COP26
|The Solution Team from Quebec has developed a guide to help YMCAs set up collective projects, and by doing so promote youth involvement in fighting climate change.||5,150|
|Canada||YMCA of Southwestern Ontario||The Youth-Led YMCA Green Initiative||The Youth-Led Green Initiative’s main objective is to address the problem of food insecurity though education and planting vegetable gardens.||400|
|Canada||YMCA of Oakville||Priority Neighborhood Community Garden Project||By planting a community garden, the project aims to empower and educate low-income locals about environmental education and advocacy.||4,100|
|Canada||YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island||Climate Action Kitchen||The project seeks to recover excess food from local restaurants, grocery stores, and other food suppliers that would otherwise be wasted.||–|
|East Jerusalem YMCA||BrinGreen||The BrinGreen project’s main goal is to provide locals with seeds so they are able to plant their own healthy foods, increase their green space, and be more aware of the environment.||5,000|
|LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN|
Estrategia Nacional de Impulso al talento y fortalecimiento juvenil
|The project is designed to provide youth with the necessary skills to improvement their environment, and capacity and funding for cultural conservation.||7,500|
|The Sumaq Muru project aims to produce affordable and non-polluting energy to help communities struggling with poor drainage systems, poor hygienic services, and pollution.||7,500|
|Uruguay||“Huertas” ACJ / YMCA Salto||
|The project’s main goal is to serve the community through developing a school of resilience on the property of the ACJ -SALTO, cleaning garbage sites, and recycling materials as inputs to work the land.||
|Cameroon||YMCA Cameroon||Green Economy||The Green Economy project’s purpose is to encourage the re-use of bottles. It will identify sites where bottles are discarded; create and raise awareness at bottle storage and garbage sorting sites; recover and clean bottles and fill them with compost and sand; transport and place them in public places, homes or offices.||
|Cameroon||YMCA Cameroon||Involve young people in environment protection and creating jobs||This innovation-driven project will develop, design and implement a Youth-Led digital platform (in the form of an App) dedicated to educating, connecting people and mitigating waste within the community.||1,000|
|Kenya||Kenya YMCA||Unlocking bamboo value chain for timber in the furniture & construction industry||The project’s main objective is to unlock the bamboo value chain by connecting bamboo out-growers to the construction and furniture industry, train youth on making and marketing of bamboo products||
|Nigeria||YMCA Nigeria||Use of Maize Husk, Plantain Stalk and other Agro-waste in the manufacture of paper-based food packaging materials for Positive Environmental Impact||The Solution seeks to convert agricultural waste by modifying the existing paper production process for use in paper packaging of food products. This will primarily manage the waste generated from these by-products.||1,000|
|Zambia||Zambia YMCA||Your Waste My Treasure||The project seeks to focus on public awareness and education. Public exhibitions will be conducted in shopping malls, markets places and schools, to showcase artworks that will be made from waste, thereby raising awareness on waste management and climate change.||4,500|
|Zambia||Lundazi YMCA||Lundazi YMCA Climate Change Youth Led Solution Team||The project will educate, create awareness, and close the gap between the elite and the illiterate on best practices to reduce the impact of climate change among the peasant farmers and the general population of Lundazi district.||1,000|
|Kosovo||YMCA Kosovo||#TeamTrees||The project’s main goal is to tackle deforestation. Y Kosovo will build a nursery greenhouse in the YMCA Camp at Pjetershan to grow and nurture plants until they are ready to be planted in the wild.||4,675|
|Romania||YMCA Romania||Building Sustainable Cities||As recycling is a huge issue in Romania, Y Romania will create a series of 50-minute workshops for High Schools. A “Hike and Clean” programme will restore trekking trails.||1,850|
|Scotland||YMCA Scotland||COP26 – Tartan Solutions||
The team will highlight youth solutions during COP26 in Glasgow, though a series of activities, including ‘Upcycle Tartan’, a Tartan “Trashion” Show, a YMCA Beach Clean;
a YMCA litter pick; and tree-planting for each of the countries attending COP26.
|Ukraine||YMCA Ukraine||Y-Green||Ukraine doesn’t have a proper national recycling system, leading to problems in waste management. The project will create a 3-4-week educational challenge, each week devoted to a specific theme about sustainable lifestyle and combatting climate change.||2,800|
|ASIA & THE PACIFIC ISLANDS|
|Australia||Y Australia||YMCA best practice climate action plan||The best practice solution involves a centralized staff member at YMCA Australia collecting and coordinating data measuring the climate impact of each organization.||2,000|
|Mongolia||YMCA Mongolia||Green traveler, Green influencer||The project seeks to conduct ecofriendly travel education to children and youth.||4,500|
|Myanmar||YMCA Yangon||Raising Climate Literacy||The Raising Climate Literacy project aims to conduct online training on climate change to YMCA young people across Myanmar.||1,000|
|Myanmar||YMCA Myitkyina||Clean, Green and be a Greener||The project will promote clean and green waste management through the placement of waste segregation garbage bins along the creek, and conducting awareness sessions.||2,000|
|Philippines||YMCA Makati||Kalakalikasan: Exchange for a Change||The project aims to recycle single-use plastics, and to build a plastic recycling facility.||6,500|
|South Korea||YMCA South Korea||Oh Plastic No Plastic||The Oh Plastic No Plastic project focusses on plastic reuse by using small plastics that cannot be recycled to create new products.||4,000|
|Taiwan||Tainan YMCA||Creating a Second Life for Second-hand Clothes||The project seeks to create new products out of second-hand clothes.||1,500|
|Taiwan||Taipei YMCA||Make Tourism green & responsible again!||The project will work to raise public awareness about responsible tourism||2,000|
|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA|
|USA||Ann Arbor YMCA||Cultivating Action through Responsible Education (CARE for Climate)||The education and awareness focused project seeks to train young people to be eco-leaders, and to target changes in human behavior for sustainable water and air quality results.||9,210|
|USA||YMCA of the Rockies||
That’s a Wrap on Plastic Wrap
|The project aims to change cleaning procedures and invest in more sustainable storage options to reduce the use of plastic wrap.||9,210|
|USA||Kentucky YMCA Youth Association||Footprint||The Footprint project implemented by Kentucky Youth Association is innovation-influenced and seeks to create a web extension that alerts users of a product’s carbon footprint while they are online shopping.||9,210|
|USA||University YMCA||Vermiculture – Vermicomposting in the Champaign-Urbana Community||The project’s main goal is to distribute vermicomposting kits and educational materials.||9,210|
|USA||Sioux YMCA||Combating Food Loss in Indigenous Communities and Beyond||The project will combat hunger and waste by distributing food packs to the Cheyenne Reservation that would otherwise be wasted.||9,210|
|USA||YMCA of San Francisco||Climate Justice and Sustainability Task Force||Creating an environmental task force for employees.||9,210|
|USA||YMCA of Greater Long Beach||Reducing Food Waste, Increasing Food Security||The solution team seeks to reduce food waste by combatting hunger and waste in distributing food that grocery stores would otherwise have wasted.||9,210|
|USA||YMCA of Honolulu||Elevating E-Waste||The project aims to provide education about proper e-waste.||9,210|
Have a look at a few examples below
Creating a Second Life for Second-hand Clothes by Tainan YMCA (Taiwan)
The project seeks to create new products out of second-hand clothes
#TeamTrees by YMCA Kosovo
The project’s main goal is to tackle deforestation. Y Kosovo will build a nursery greenhouse in the YMCA Camp at Pjetershan to grow and nurture plants until they are ready to be planted in the wild
Reducing Food Waste, Increasing Food Security by YMCA of Greater Long Beach (USA)
The solution team seeks to reduce food waste by combatting hunger and waste in distributing food that grocery stores would otherwise have wasted
Sumaq Muru by YMCA Peru
The Sumaq Muru project aims to produce affordable and non-polluting energy to help communities struggling with poor drainage systems, poor hygienic services, and pollution