The youth-focused organization, CoalitionWILD, partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme to host Young Champions of the Earth competition for its fourth year for the 2020/2021 cycle.
As a past youth ambassador of @CoalitionWILD, I was invited to participate as a judge. As part of the process, I was sent 60 applications from young environmentalists from around the world! I was tasked with evaluating each application based on set criteria via an online portal.
There were so many inspiring people with amazing ideas, and its cliche to say that they all were deserving of the award, but it's kind of true. Full transparency, there was one application in the batch that was a half baked idea, but it was my favorite to read because the applicant was so enthusiastic and a bit extreme in their idea to "save the planet." So it's fair to say no one lacked passion.
There were obviously some that stood out, and once the winners were announced in December it was clear I was not the only judge that felt that way. Seven winners were announced and they were given funding and mentorship to support their environmental initiative.
Since its inception in 2017, 28 environmental trailblazers have been recognized from every corner of the globe through this program.
I wanted to share some of the inspiring #YouthChamps from the year that made it to the top of the list:
Nzambi Matee (Kenya), a materials engineer and head of Gjenge Makers, which produces sustainable low-cost construction materials made of recycled plastic waste and sand.
Compilation of the 2020 Winners: