“I started getting interested in human rights on a global scale and looked into what was causing human rights abuses around the world to happen. What I found, each and every time, was the climate crisis.”
When I was 14, I started volunteering in a refugee camp in Calais with some of my family members. It was absolutely horrible. Food lines were long. The water supply was limited. The number of toilets and showers did not come close to meeting the need and medical services were desperately under-resourced, with only a handful of doctors.
I started getting interested in human rights on a global scale and looked into what was causing human rights abuses around the world to happen. What I found, each and every time, was the climate crisis. And so I decided to engage myself in it.
When I was 17 I organized the first Youth Climate strike in Belgium. We striked for over 20 weeks and thousands of people showed up. It was huge and dominated the news for over months. We directly put together a team of young people that would work on different things such as social media, mobilisations, internal structure, ect… We also worked together with ‘big platform’ figures in Belgium who could reach thousands in our name. It was important to find out how many different people could help us with their own available capacity. Together with Fridays For Future international we changed the political agenda and put huge amounts of pressure on our politicians.
The most important thing you need, to become an activist, is information. And I know It is a privilege to have access to information, but if you do, use it. Get educated, get in touch with other people and movements, see how you can be a part of an existing movement or how you can organize actions from scratch. The most important thing is to realize you’re not alone in this and we have all been there, at the scary front step of a huge world of activism and knowledge and opinions that we are very new from.
But you’re not alone.
Use the people around you and the information you have to become the activist you want to be. I’ve always seen my activism as a responsibility because of my privilege. It is not a choice I make but the rent I pay to live on this planet. I hope you join us in that!