CLIMATE’S RIGHT TO HELP YOUNG UNDERSTAND
R YOU DUS UT SENEO ABO ARE VID YOUTHE HOWPIN
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IT IS a question that vexes parents and divides Australians: How do you talk to children about climate change?
Sometimes it’s an issue that kids can’t avoid, such as those affected by
the Black Summer bushfires, so a new program has been rolled out for schools to
help them turn that trauma into a positive.
And we also want to make sure that kids don’t feel scared or anxious about climate change and instead feel like there is something they can do to help tackle the problem instead of just worrying about it.
That’s why we’re launching Mission Zero: Faces of the Future, a new project in which we’re inviting the children of Australia to record a video telling us what they’re doing.
It might be as simple as planting a tree or helping mum and dad in the garden.
Or it might be a school composting program or community clean-up initiative.
Save the Children’s Jaimie Petterwood is a senior facilitator for the charity’s Journey of Hope program, which has been rolled out in schools in bushfire affected communities.
She says the best way for kids not to get freaked out by climate change is for them to express their thoughts and feelings f li and d turn any negative thoughts into positive actions.
“There’s a lot of negativity and there’s a lot of stress and anxiety and depression around what the world’s going to look like,” she said.
Brothers Jonah, Will and Reeve spent New Year’s Eve of 2019 evacuated to the beach at Batemans Bay as bushfires approached their home.
“We saw things on fire on the beach,” seven-year-old Reeve said.
“I saw helicopters. I saw houses burned down. Fire kept flaring up. A lightning strike went almost near us. It was scary.”
His 10-year-old brother Will said the Journey to Hope program really helped him.
“We did activities and stuff to get our minds off what happened and got good ideas to help us calm down,” he said.
Another organisation called Cool Australia helps teach children about climate change in a way that is fun.
“We bring the real world into the classroom. The kids and teachers love it,” Cool Australia CEO Jason Kimberley said.
“It is this real-world education that engages and empowers students to be informed, active citizens able to understand and contribute to the challenges we face.”