Wherever he can, Daniel Sinaga takes advantage of the opportunity to speak about the benefits of riding a bicycle as a means of alternative transportation. Sinaga, a resident of Pematangsiantar, Indonesia, encourages students in his college and other youths in the community to cycle whenever possible.
Unlike others his age who prefer to take a motorcycle, he uses his bike when possible. Sinaga wants to pass on the message that cycling can contribute in a positive way towards addressing climate change.
As a member of the Global Young Reformers Network of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and a representative of the Protestant Christian Batak Church in Indonesia, Sinaga has been campaigning to raise awareness on climate issue since December 2015. “We want to focus on eco-friendly transportation alternative to address the climate change”, he says. He has organized a campaign named Cycling for Climate in his city and encouraged a large number of youths to take bicycle as a mean of alternative transportation.
Innovative approach engages youth
Johanan Celine P. Valeriano, resident of Philippines, another member of the Global Young Reformers, believes that an innovative approach can engage a large population and the attention of the government. At a time when the Philippines government was focusing to carry out activities for disaster preparedness, Valeriano and his team came up with the idea to raise awareness on a number of environmental issues.
Since December 2015, when he was selected as a youth reformer, he has been able to reach a total of 1046 youths with his climate change awareness message. His team planted 500 trees at the head office of the Lutheran Church in Manila to commemorate 500 years of the Reformation. The garden has been named Luther Garden.
Valeriano has continued to conduct seminars and raise awareness on environmental issues. He would like to create youth campaigners who advocate for climate justice issue.
Taking care of God’s creation
Grosvyn Ariel Rodriguez Ramfrez arrived in Namibia to participate the LWF’s Twelfth Assembly from Honduras. He says the young reformer’s environmental projects are to take care of the God’s creation.
His environmental campaign, Global Threat, Community Action: Mobilizing Youth Against Climate Change, assists in training youth on environmental issues and encourage local community to take action and address climate change issues.
Ramfrez, also a member of the Global Young Reformers Network, has planted trees in his community. He’s also involved in training youth and community members about the adverse impact of climate change on lives of the people and the animals.
A way forward
One goal of the Young Reformers is to address climate change on a bigger scale. The group has plans to work with churches, collaborate with local NGOs and coordinate with government agencies to address the adverse impact of climate change. “We want to be a role model for environmental protection and climate change so that other can follow the action we have initiated,” Sinaga says.