The programme seeks to empower young South Africans to pursue a collective vision of human rights, inclusivity, environmental and social justice by harnessing social media and its global network to tell their own solution-driven, knowledge rich and contextual stories.
While being part of the programme, the young reporters will receive mentorship from environmental experts who determine bold, smart and sensitive solutions to local environmental issues.
The first phase of the programme focuses on eight high schools in the Cape Town city centre – Cape Town High School, Gardens Commercial High School, Good Hope Seminary High School, Harold Cressy High School, Sea Point High School, Trafalgar High School and Vista High School.
Alderman Eddie Andrews, City of Cape Town deputy mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for spatial planning and environment, has called on young people to “take full advantage of this opportunity as it will help them connect with mother nature”.
“They [young reporters] can take pictures of their gardens at home, on their way to school or anytime they find themselves outdoors. We ask the youth to be intentional about their reporting. They may choose to focus on something that interests them, spend time in nature looking for clues that speak to their intention and ultimately report on their find,” Andrews said.
Andrews added that they hope this initiative will spark an interest in nature and the environment, and possibly a career in the environmental field among the youth.
The programme will run for a year and it will showcase selected environmental media projects by the Young Reporters for the Environment upon the completion of the first phase.