About 200 youth from Kenya and Norway began a caravan that is going from Nairobi, Kenya and ending two weeks later at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's conference (COP-17) in Durban, South Africa.
The goals of the youth caravan are to first educate through music, dance and drama the communities along the caravan route, and second to assure that the world governments reach a just, ambitions and legally binding treaty to curb climate change.
The Caravan held a launch event at Memorial Park in Nairobi where groups from Kenya, Ghana, Botswana and Norway gave entertaining and educational performances. Norwegian band Ten Sing Norway, representing Norwegian Young Men Christian Association and its female counterpart, Young Women Christian Association performed with song and dance with a message of hope and working together.
One of the participants from Ten Sing Norway, Tora Brjornoy Lalim enthusiastically explained: "We believe it is time that the youth take a firm stand and say that we cannot wait any longer for a fair climate deal. Being creative is a big part of youth work in the YMCA-YWCA in the world, for us this is a proper way to show what we believe and what we are fighting for!"
Jon-Andreas Solberg, UN-HABITAT Human Settlement officer, stated that: "We believe that this caravan represents how youth are leaders of today, not just tomorrow. We at UN-HABITAT will continue to support activities such as this caravan, as well as other similar youth activities, such as we have done through our Urban Youth Fund, where we have seen concretely the innovative ideas and energy youth bring to the climate change issue. Without bringing in youth perspectives and issues a climate deal will not be sustainable."
The caravan will go through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa, where the youth will organize concerts to draw attention to climate change. The caravan ends with a big concert in Kings Park Stadium in Durban where amongst others, Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu will participate.
This effort follows upon UN-HABITAT's support of Kenyan youth to engage in the "Road to Rio" process in which they were able to provide input into the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 4-6, 2012.