“The youth including BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ+, and otherwise exploited, vulnerable, and low-income individuals are pushing for real and immediate climate action, often covering the costs of holding events and running campaigns out-of-pocket due to the lack of funders who can meet our unique and important needs.” says Mackenzie Cumming, a 16-year old student in the Fridays for Future Calgary movement, “Ultimately, we need to dismantle the system in which one’s finances determine one’s power, but for now, this funding will be an incredible aid in building capacity and creating the systemic change we so desperately need. We are incredibly powerful in our current state, and with funding and intergenerational solidarity, the youth will be unstoppable.”
While 72% of Canadians agree with the demands of the youth-led climate movement, less than 40% of youth-led organizations have paid staff to support the growing network of passionate and determined youth from all sectors of society. Youth are effective agents of change with the most agency to protect our future but require more support to ensure their concerns and solutions are heard by all levels of government. Youth-led organizations are not fairly compensated and barriers to action of youth-led movements exacerbate large turnover due to high youth burnout rates.
FES, a registered charity, has existed since 2016 to educate and increase the public’s understanding of climate change. Its flagship program, 3% Project, completed in 2020, engaged thousands of youth across Canada in climate and sustainability-oriented community projects. After listening to thousands of voices throughout Canada, FES affirmed that more needs to be done to support youth-led climate action.
“Youth inherit the consequences of broken systems that previous generations have passed onto them. Despite youth taking charge to fix the system, time and time again youth are under-estimated, under-appreciated, and under-supported,” says Kat Cadungog, Executive Director of FES, “It’s a pivotal moment in the push for greater climate action and now is the time for bold and inclusive solutions. With youth at the frontlines of climate action, previous generations have a moral imperative to support youth in this effort. It is refreshing to see collaborators recognizing this and stepping up. This program renews my sense of optimism and fire to empower and amplify the youth-led climate movement. The time is now.”
FES expects to accept applications from youth-led organizations for support by early September 2021.
For more information about the Youth-for-Youth program, contact Kat Cadungog at info@FESplanet.org or 825-735-7173.
Foundation for Environmental Stewardship
The Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta | Calgary, Alberta
t: +1 403 702 6509