Portia Adu-Mensah From Ghana: 'Our Leaders Must Support Grassroots Girls'

 Ghana
 AdvocacyClimate Change,
 21st Apr 2021

This Earth Day, and to coincide with the Leaders’ Summit on Climate, we look to five young female climate leaders who are on the frontlines of climate impacts. 

As a young climate leader, what impacts are you most proud of?  

In 2019 I got the opportunity to be part of a video documentary done by ActionAid Ghanawhich was linked with rising sea levels and how it was impacting girls and young women in that community.  

We went to New Town and saw where the rising sea levels had taken out a lot of housesand the pollution at that level was disastrous. We had to do separation of plastics but also look at the sea defenses and encourage youth to speak up and express what we think was the cause, which is climate change 

We helped explain it to them and also how they can help in solving these issuesand also protect the seas, so we had to train them on different levels. It was an amazing experience for me, and it made me realize they hadn’t heard much about climate change so it had a great impact for them as well. 

In a sentence, what does climate justice look like to you?  

Reducing growing inequality. 

What advice would you give other young women who want to work for climate justice?  

Women are mostly affected by climate change. We must stand to protect our environment and be the voice of change. 

Another project I’m proud of is empowering university students and grassroots youth to become climate activists. I visited a girls’ schools for a renewable energy project, and it was great to see how the young girls were able to come up with ideas for how we can build our own renewable energy. 

If you imagine the world in 2030, what does it look like?   

A carbon free economy where we all only use our natural resources. Women and girls are empowered at the grassroots to be part of decision making and change. 

If you could say one thing to world leaders gathering at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate this Earth Day, what would it be?  

Our leaders must empower our grassroot girls with climate skills.  

 

Portia is the Founder and CEO of Dream Hunt, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works in sustainable development and alternative sources of livelihoods, as well as youth inclusion for development and social welfare. She is a climate change activist in Ghana working to reduce carbon emissions from coal.  She was part of a cohort at the YALI West Africa RLC and stood for president of the Eagle Cohort Group which she won. She is the National Coordinator of 350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon. She is the secretary of coalition of NGO’s in Tema. Portia also affiliates with 350.org, Water Aid Ghana, Friends of the Earth US, Abibinsroma Foundation, 350Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (350GROC) and Alliance for empowering Rural Communities. You can find her on FacebookTwitter and on Instagram. 

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