Youth-led Community Climate Awareness and Action
DOT and the Cisco Foundation announce a partnership to develop a youth-led response to the global climate challenge
Responding to the calls to action from youth within DOT’s network across Africa and the Middle East – young people who are living through some of the worst impacts of the climate emergency – Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) today announces a new area of focus that leverages its proven, impact driven, youth-led model in response to the climate crisis. With support from the Cisco Foundation, young women and men will develop solutions that leverage digital tools, the creativity of young people and the power of DOT’s network of young leaders to increase community awareness and resilience to the local shocks and stresses caused by climate change.
The initial project will establish a foundation for solutions that can demonstrate, motivate and mobilize thousands of other young leaders of change and millions of citizens to take action that contributes to climate resilience in their own communities.
The ‘Youth-led Community Climate Awareness and Action’ project embraces the principles of digital inclusion, women’s empowerment and the belief in young people as leaders of change. DOT and Cisco believe that communities can experience an inclusive green transition when young people are empowered with the skills, tools and technology to lead in their communities.
Over the next 12 months, DOT will consult with climate experts, co-design and digitize programmatic interventions with youth, run community-based pilots to test and verify a youth-led climate program and toolkit for dissemination in 2024.
Building on a legacy of youth-led community development
The Youth-led Community Climate Awareness and Action project will be realized through DOT’s youth-led model, a unique model which mobilizes a movement of local youth, and empowers them with the skills, tools, and knowledge to lead community transformation. With over 20 years of proven impact, the model has reached 3 million community members.
Deeply interconnected with livelihoods, human rights and inclusion, climate change is creating serious impacts to other global challenges. Young people, particularly young women, are incredibly vulnerable to climate change impacts. With the support of the Cisco Foundation, the project is rooted in the voices and lived realities of young people as witnessed in the DOT network. Addressing climate change is both an opportunity and a prerequisite for youth to thrive in an inclusive digital economy – DOT and Cisco will lead the way.
DOT Founder and CEO, Janet Longmore, says: “At the heart of DOT’s mission, is the belief that young people — equipped with the knowledge, skills and the support and trust of the international development ecosystem — will apply their energy, creativity and impatience to lead community-based grassroots climate response at an incredible pace and scale. DOT has proven that one young person mobilized through skills, confidence and a network of support, working alongside governments, the private sector, civil society and their communities, can reach hundreds of others, increasing the collective resilience to local climate change shocks and stresses”.
She adds: “By creating a movement of digitally-savvy youth with the skills, confidence and attitudes to transform their communities, DOT has been working for 21 years to advance digital inclusion. This is why we are committed to extending our youth-led model to address the climate crisis. The model positions young women and men as climate champions who will build climate awareness among their peers and citizens, advocate for climate action, and innovate in the green economy. We are starting in Tanzania and Lebanon and we intend to scale to other countries in the Middle East and Africa”.
A long-term partnership with the Cisco Foundation
DOT and Cisco have a long history collaboration. Starting 21 years ago, when the Cisco Foundation supported the initial development and implementation of the youth-led model, through the present day, the organizations have worked together in the Middle East, Africa, the USA, China and Mexico – driven by a shared belief in the potential of young people and the power of technology to lead responsible change.
Peter Tavernise, Climate Impact and Regeneration Portfolio lead of the Cisco Foundation, notes: “An effective response to climate change, and the reinforcing of climate action and resilience in all communities requires the efforts of everyone. We have always valued DOT’s channels to youth and the organization’s ability to engage young people as respected leaders who bring the creativity, concerns and the voices of youth to the table.”
Extending the hand, and power, of partnership, we welcome others with shared beliefs to join us in the Youth-Led Community Climate Awareness and Action initiative.