This fantastic article has been extracted from Big Mamma –

Is age an issue when you are really passionate about something? When you are worried about the future of your planet and want to do something? These kids think not and have started to realize their dreams at a very early age. Full of commitment, energy and passion and with an ability to reach beyond borders, these kids have inspired people worldwide with their amazing stories.

Felix Finkbeiner: the treeplanter
Felix Finkbeiner is an environmental superstar with the looks of Harry Potter: a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and a pudding-bowl haircut. At least, that is what the UK Telegraph writes after their British chapter of Plant for the Planet was established in their country this Spring. Felix, the 13-year-old boy from Germany, has planted more than four million trees with his international organization Plant for the Planet, a global network of child activists who aim to mitigate climate change by reforesting the planet. When he was nine, he started his organisation as just a school project. Inspired by the tree planting campaign of the African Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai, he gave a presentation in front of his class. Two days later, he was asked to give his presentation to the school’s student council, the headteacher and later he visited all the other classes of his school. Two months later he planted his first tree, an apple tree that is now famous, and started campaigning.
Only a few years later Plant for the Planet has become an international organization in 131 countries, with 12 employed staff members. His initial goal of one million trees planted in his native Germany was by that time long reached. But that’s not all what the ‘eco-superhero’ did: he also addressed the United Nations for several times, worked as a youth representative for UNEP, set up an international campaign called Stop Talking, Start Planting, personally explained his cause to the world most famous politicians and celebrities, wrote a book called Tree by Tree and this summer holiday climbed the Kilimanjaro to raise attention to climate change. ‘But’, his mother says, ‘all this will stop if his schoolwork is affected.’ His father: ‘Felix is no wunderkind. He’s just a normal boy.’ A normal school boy, that in his spare time beat Brad Pitt, Prince Charles and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the top of green giants that will be setting the global environmental agenda in the coming year. What will happen then if this normal school boy will get a ‘regular’ job?
William Kamkwamba: the green garbage inventor

William Kamkwamba, or ‘The boy who harnessed the wind’, became a world famous inventor of green energy solutions when he decided to try to use some garbage and a small textbook to built a wind turbine in his home village in Malawi. Due to severe famine in 2001, William was forced to drop out of school at the age of 14 and started to borrow books from a lending library at his former primary school. With the help of an American textbook with a picture of a wind turbine on the front cover, he built a windmill to power his family’s home out of a broken bicycle, tractor fan blade, old shock absorber, and blue gum trees. The news of his invention spread and people from across the country came to see his installation. When the news reached the program director of TEDGlobal, he invited him to one of his prestigious conferences. William’s presentation then caught the attention of the world and he became the subject of a documentary called Moving Windmills.
William’s autobiography, the book ‘The boy who harnessed the wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope’ spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. William, now in his mid 20s, has according to critics, ‘achieved a far larger role than his first quest to find a reliable power source for his radio. William’s book is a marvel of innovation and solutions for a new generation growing into the challenges of our modern world’. And the best thing, William was able to finish his school and is now a student at the African Leadership Academy, a pan-African high school in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the fall of 2010, William entered Dartmouth College in Hanover, USA.
Severn Suzuki: the girl who silenced the world
The world famous girl who silenced the world, that is Severn Suzuki. At the age of 9 she started the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO) with some friends, to teach other children about environmental issues. When she was 12, they raised money to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Severn’s powerful speech received a standing ovation and even made some delegates cry. Since then it become a viral hit on the internet and many people were inspired by her words. After the summit, she continued her work and spoke at several conferences and events about the subject of individual responsibility.
In 2002, Severn initiated a think tank called the Skyfish Project, which aims to find ways to live and work in line with their ideals. Their first project, a pledge called the Recognition of Responsibility (ROR) became part of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002. Now in her 30s, Severn is still passionate about making change and is involved in many projects and initiatives.
Alec Loorz: the organizor of iMatter
Alec Loorz , a 16-year old boy from California that received already 11(!) eco awards from different organizations and institutions. When the boy was 12 years old he founded his organization Kids vs. Global Warming after watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth. He created compelling presentation especially for youth, with videos, animations and easy-to-understand science. After giving 30 presentations Al Gore noticed his efforts and he was formally trained to become one the vice-presidents official presenters and to serve as keynote speaker in several events.
When he was 13 year old, he covered the problems and solutions of climate change in a one-minute video that became the basis for a global campaign meant to unite young people and to enable them to ‘raise their voices so loud they cannot be ignored’. This campaign, called iMatter, is according to Alec, about ‘young people standing up and telling the world that they matter’. He urges young people from around the world to join him in his campaign and march on the streets to compel world leaders to ‘lead as if our future matters’.
Cassandra Lin: the social and sustainable entrepreneur
Cassandra Lin is an inspiring social entrepreneur from Rhode Island, USA. At the age of 10 Cassandra Lin initiated the project Turn Grease Into Fuel (TGIF), that collects waste cooking oil from residents and restaurants to turn it into biofuel. This biofuel is then distributed to families with a low-income that cannot afford heating. Today, they partnered with 105 restaurants to turn 48.000 gallons of waste oil into biodiesel, benefiting 60 low-income families. They tried to involve more children in the project by giving presentations to different schools.
Cassandra thinks it is important to educate children about environmental issues from an early age. They can then start their own projects and become young environmental leaders. Her advice to these young people? Start with small steps: ‘It doesn’t matter how big or small you are. Anyone can make a difference!’
Visit Big Mamma to see videos of these amazing young people in action –
By CERES Education – Outreach Team|2017-11-06T17:23:01+10:00April 29th, 2013|0 Comments