The Lupane State University Climate Justice Club was formed with the drive to change existing perceptions about climate change. The club is also raising awareness on diverse climatic conditions with a view to fostering sustainable environmental practices. Birthed against a background of hunger, floods and earthquakes across the globe, the club has undertaken various awareness initiatives set to inform, educate and foster change in behavior towards climate change. Initiatives to date include a cleanup campaign that was conducted in the Bulawayo central business district which drew young people from the membership and other likeminded volunteers. AFRIYOCC and the ZIM -MALAWI was the zenith of the club milestone achievements; two conferences that influenced the course of the current events which culminated in a roundtable discussion with other tertiary institutions.
The round table discussion, held on 25 August 2016 cemented relations with colleagues from the different institutions which was reinforced by messages on social media. Club President Bakani Mathe had this to say about the initiative, “…young people have made it abundantly clear that they want to be involved in the decisions impacting society and addressing climate change is no exception”. Hence the statement to rally fellow students “Climate change has happened because of human behavior, therefore it’s only natural it should be us, human beings, to address this issue. It may not be too late if we take decisive actions today”.
The club’s activities are carried out with the generous support of the Lupane State University, UKAid and Trócaire through their various initiatives that capacitate young people from diverse backgrounds with knowledge, skills and resources.
This has attracted enthusiasm towards matters of climate change as evidenced by the huge turnout for meetings convened under the club‘s banner. It is therefore significant to note the impact of such activities in communities as they positively alter the path of youth.
Trócaire is the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland (which supports long-term positive change to people’s lives and responds to emergencies.