This week high school students in Apia are directing their own climate change mini TV documentaries, radio programs and other stories for the A2C2 project (Action Against Climate Change).
Over 30 students from three schools are filming field trips, recording their radio voice in studio and busily writing about climate change and its impacts on people in Samoa.
“After a month of preparation, training, writing their scripts and stories the students finally get the chance to get out into the field this week to film and record their stories,” said Joelle Auffray, the co-founder of Apidae, who is leading the initiative.
“Their stories are very powerful. It is the ‘voice of youth’ speaking about climate change and how it impacts their country, their family and them personally.”
On the field trips, the students are being supported by local Samoan media personalities and climate change experts who have kindly volunteered their time to be ‘mentors’ and help spread the educational messages about climate change.
This Mentorship Program is a key component of the A2C2 project, where local Samoan ‘experts’ in climate change and media have been advising and supporting the high school students over the duration of the project.
The mentors have also provided support to the National University of Samoa (NUS) journalism students who are also involved in the project, as part of their Semester 2 curriculum.
“The stories will be completed by the end of the month and launched at a Showcase meeting soon, which we hope will attract key decision makers in Samoa keen to listen to the youths present their stories and voice their concerns and hopes,” Joelle said.
The high school children involved in the A2C2 project are from Leifi’ifi College, Maluafou College and Loto Taumafai.
A2C2 (Action Against Climate Change) is a collaboration between the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS), the Australian Government’s Department of Environment, AusAID, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and implemented by Apidae Development Innovations.
It involves five Pacific countries: Vanuatu and Samoa (in country media production), and Kiribati and Tuvalu (via the University of the South Pacific hub campus in Fiji). A key focus of the initiative is partnering with each country’s ministries (Education, Environment or others), selected schools and media institutions to ensure the project is local and to create maximum awareness on the science and solutions to climate change.