Climate change is a global problem that will drastically affect most areas of life. Some effects of climate change are: the melting of icebergs, sea levels rising, ocean currents shift, changes in the amount of rainfall, the acidification of oceans, more natural disasters and more diseases such as malaria. Despite Nicaragua contributing very little to climate change, they are one of the worst affected.
Both communities in Nicaragua, El Bramadero and Parcila, are located in what’s known as the ‘Dry Corridor’. This is the part of the country that is worst hit by climate change. The wet season is likely to become more unpredictable - starting later in the year and lasting for a shorter period of time; the dry season will last longer, causing droughts and damage to crops and livestock. Additionally, storms and unpredictable bad weather become more common, which could damage property, land, people and animals. This is devastating to agriculture and biodiversity, which can result in the loss of habitats and certain resources such as water.
A challenge faced by the Progressio team in Nicaragua is getting the youth involved and interested in climate change. Climate change is a global problem that is going to hit young people the hardest. Despite this, the youth are the hardest to inspire.
It is most likely that the youth of El Bramadero will be the hardest hit by climate change. The effects of climate change will become worse as the young people of this community grow into adulthood and will be a major issue that they will have to deal with as they raise their families and earn a living. The changes to weather patterns will mean that those who are currently working in agriculture will soon begin to face the challenge of finding ways to protect their crops and livestock from unpredictable weather. This will drastically affect the financial security of members of the community, which could lead to individuals migrating in order to find other means of work and income.
It is for this reason that the El Bramadero team have chosen to target the youth specifically. It is hard to encourage the youth to attend community events raising awareness of climate change; so, we decided to incorporate climate change awareness into something they love - sports!
On Friday 5 August the Progressio team invited the youth of the community to a football tournament. It was a fantastic turn out with 30 people, 23 of those playing. The tournament was fun and enjoyable for everyone playing and watching. We also managed to give a speech about how climate change affects the young people of El Bramadero directly and what actions they can take to lessen it.
Only a small number of women attended the football match, all of whom watched. As a team we have noticed that women in El Bramadero do not play sport. Sport is largely dominated by men, mostly playing football and baseball. It was for this reason that we decided to introduce a sport to this community for only women.
There were mixed feelings towards a women’s only sport within the team, as some people thought that they would not be interested. However, we decided that it was worth a shot! Literally!
On Monday 8 August was the official launch of handball in El Bramadero. We were slightly disappointed to find that only one person had turned up. Despite this, with all the women volunteers we had a group of 11 and were able to play a short game; and it was a huge success! It was great to see how enthusiastic and competitive everyone was. It is clear that women in El Bramadero do want to play sport and thoroughly enjoy it.
To conclude, the youth remain a difficult target group to motivate about climate change. Nevertheless, using new and creative ideas we are able to show how climate change is relevant to them and what they can do to help.
Written by ICS volunteer Chloe Linford