Earth Day Live:
Invest in Education, invest in our planet
The intersection of education, gender, and climate action
In celebration of International Women’s Day, EARTHDAY.ORG convened an esteemed, global group of climate activists to discuss challenges and opportunities for climate and environmental literacy. In this Earth Day Live, My Future My Voice Ambassadors Ms. Brenda Mwale (Malawi) and Ms. Bindu Bhandari (Nepal) spoke with climate education expert Dr. Christina Kwauk (USA).
Watch the video below to hear about cutting-edge climate education initiatives, innovative youth action, and strategies for civic engagement.
Dr. Christina Kwauk
Research Director, Unbounded Associates; Founder & Director, Kwauk & Associates
Christina Kwauk is a social scientist with a current interdisciplinary focus on education for climate action. She is an expert on girls’ education in developing countries, 21st century skills and youth empowerment, sport for development, and the intersections of gender, education, and climate change.
Christina co-edited (with Radhika Iyengar) Curriculum and Learning for Climate Action: Toward an SDG 4.7 Roadmap for Systems Change and co-authored (with Gene Sperling and Rebecca Winthrop) What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment. She has published numerous policy papers, including “The new green learning agenda: Approaches to quality education for climate empowerment,” as well as academic articles on topics in climate change education, gender, health, and international development and education.
Christina works as an education consultant. She is Research Director at Unbounded Associates and Head of Climate and Education at The Education Commission. She also serves on the Drawdown Lift Advisory Council, Girl Rising’s Advisory Council, the International Jury for the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education, and the Judging Academy for the World’s Best School Prizes.
Ms. Bindu Bhandari
Outreach and Engagement Manager, Climate Interactive; My Future My Voice Ambassador, EARTHDAY.ORG
Bindu Bhandari is a climate change campaigner turned communicator from Nepal. Over the last eight years, she has worked in different capacities with a wide range of institutions to build the capacity of youth networks, educators and business groups in addressing climate change. Currently, she works with a not-for-profit think tank called Climate Interactive. Her work focuses on using interactive climate tools to deliver systems-level insights that are policy-relevant for mitigating climate change with equitable policies. Ms Bhandari was a Chevening scholar and holds a masters degree in Climate Change Science and Policy from the University of Bristol.
She has received several awards and recognitions for her campaigns for sustainable communities and for youth empowerment. These include: The Inspiring UN Volunteers Award, Collegiate Ambassador for Peace, Young Achiever by Nepal TV and Eco-generation’s Best Regional Ambassador, to name a few. She has also been listed as 1 of 25 female climate leaders shaping 2019 by the Ecologist.
Ms. Brenda Mwale
Program Coordinator at Green Girls Platform; My Future My Voice Ambassador, EARTHDAY.ORG
Brenda Mwale is a 24-year-old youth leader from the nation of Malawi who has just finished her Bachelor of Science in Food Technology at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources-NRC and is a startup farmer. In 2016, she learned more about the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and how she, as an individual, has a responsibility to help achieve these goals. With a passion for social projects, she chose to focus on quality education, climate action, and gender equality. So far, she is involved in a free tutoring of students and motivational talks in both primary and secondary schools involving different topics of discussion such as power of the mind, personal development, time management, career guidance, climate action, and personal hygiene. These climate action discussions involve segments with girls only and the other segments that combine both genders. The main focus is to see how climate challenges have affected education in different ways and how we can resolve such challenges and involve different stakeholders as well as getting students back to school that left as a result of such challenges.
She has also been doing tree plantings in my community with more than 50 villages across Mponela with the help of a local organization known as Kasalika Community Development Organization, the department of agriculture and department of forestry. Cleanup campaigns for the community with the involvement of the town council, market vendors and youth and the health center in our community. She is also a part of the National Youth Network for Climate Change which has helped her become a part of a team that is lobbying and advocating for full involvement of youth in different climate action platforms including the lobbying for the full implementation of thin plastic ban law. She is also a part of Green Girls Platform which helps to empower girls to be at the forefront as climate change negotiators, at the same time, coming up with different solutions to help girls stay in school and not let their future be affected as a result of different climate change challenges. Finally, she serves as a youth ambassador and climate change young leader for Malawi Scotland Partnership which involves doing projects in regard to climate action and awareness. She was also the 2019 Obama Leader and 2017 Future Africa Leaders Award winner.
Through motivational speeches, she has managed to reach more than 30,000 students and brought more than 100 students back to school. More than 150,000 trees have been planted and several cleanup projects have been done within the community.