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How these teens are leading the fight to save Earth

One teen said: "Nobody is too old or young to make a change and together we can make that change."

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Anelisa Mgedezi. (Dreamcatcher Productions ZA via SWNS)

By Brelaun Douglas via SWNS

These South African teenagers are leading the fight against climate change.

Yola Mgogwana and Anelisa Mgedezi, both 14, joined the non-profit Earthchild Project to help make changes in how we treat the planet.

“Changing how we treat the planet, especially for someone like me who's already living and witnessing the climate change effects, is a very important matter,” said Yola from Western Cape.

“The climate crisis is real. We all have to stand up and strive for changes for a livable planet that is harmless to our future and future generations.”

Anelisa from Khayelitsha agreed.

“It's important for me to change how people treat the planet because climate change affects many lives and I am one of those people who is already experiencing the effects,” she said.

“I think standing up for what I love and for what I believe in can change the behavior of people toward the earth.”

Yola became interested in climate change when she was 11 and Anelisa when she was 12.

“I raise awareness in my community and school about climate change, teaching my peers more about the environment,” Anelisa said.

“I make eco-bricks, recycle and I also plant my own vegetables.”

Yola takes similar measures and advocates for others to do the same.

“To help with climate change, I spread awareness with my family, friends and community, create eco-bricks- a 2-liter bottle filled with papers and plastics- and educate them on how they can make these small things,” she said.

“I’m a true believer that small things can make a difference.”

Both teens take their jobs seriously.

“Personally, it means am a warrior. I am an environmental warrior that wants to be the change to see the change,” Yola said.

“I do consider myself as an eco-warrior and a role model to old and young.”

Anelisa added: “I consider myself an eco-warrior and a role model because I am fighting for the environment.

Yola Mgogwana. (Dreamcatcher Productions ZA via SWNS)

“I think teaching more people in my community to start their own organic food in their homes inspires a lot of young and old people to take action and to recycle and stop polluting.”

Both said the biggest change needed to help the planet is to switch to renewable energy.

“The most important changes we need to help the planet is to stop using fossil fuel and use clean and harmless power that will be friendly to the environment,” Yola said.

Anelisa agreed: “One of the biggest and most important things we need to do to help the planet is to switch to renewable energy and teach people to stop polluting.”

Both teens are hopeful for a future without a looming climate crisis.

“My hope is to live in a future where I won’t have to worry about my future and can focus on my schoolwork,” Yola said.

“At age 11 I started worrying about my future and making change.

“I want to be like other kids and live my life stress-free. We have to all work together.”

Anelisa Mgedezi. (Dreamcatcher Productions ZA via SWNS)

A said: “For the future, I wish for our governments to open organizations to teach people how to live eco-friendly and give young people opportunities to be part of the change.

“I would like more people to realize the changes we are making as teenagers in the world by raising awareness and for our governments to see and start taking action.”

Yola advises that anyone can be an eco-warrior, despite their age.

“Nobody is too old or young to make a change and together we can make that change,” she said.

“Start small and be that warrior…have your own garden, be friendly to the environment, make eco bricks-they help to make a change in the planet.

“We all can make a change, despite our differences, beliefs and backgrounds.”

Anelisa added: “People can make changes that will impact the environment positively.”

“Open nurseries and gardens for the community, start small organizations teaching e more about the environment, how can we take care of it and what happens if we do something harmful to it.”

“I would advise children my age to fight for their rights, to stand up for what they believe in and not be afraid to speak their mind.”

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