Beatrice Phiri: Zambian young reporter and climate change activist

Beatrice is an 18-year-old young reporter with the Children’s Radio Foundation in Lusaka, Zambia. She is part of the Unite4Climate Radio Initiative, a project which uses the power of radio to challenge mindsets and shift attitudes around the environment.

With an estimated loss of 300,000 hectares per year, Zambia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, contributing significantly to global greenhouse emissions. While government and environmental groups in Zambia have tried to minimize charcoal burning and harmful agricultural practices linked to climate change, they have had limited success.
There is a great need to create the conditions within individual communities for youth to take action on climate change, food security, and other critical environmental issues, and to build platforms for young people to speak openly about their experiences in ways that reflect the realities and challenges they face.

The idea for Unite4Climate Youth Radio was developed in 2010 by the Children’s Radio Foundation in conversation with UNICEF and community-based organizations working across Zambia. Since 2010 groups of youth reporters have undergone a series of training workshops on climate change and the ways in which they can utilize radio broadcasts and outreach activities to impact their communities.

The medium of radio, especially in the context of Zambia, where 65% of the population lives in rural areas, is an effective means to reach young people and to stimulate dialogue and action at the community level.

This project is funded by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and run in partnership with Agents of Change Foundation Zambia.

• Produced by Makhulu