On Tuesday the 30th April, physical meetings kicked-off in Africa-Arab world with the Kenya meeting in Nairobi as part of preparations of GPS – phase 1. Here Caroline and Valentine, Kenyan participants share the highlights of that gathering while we are waiting for more news and stories from the rest of teams soon.

Were we excited to meet?  Yes. Tens of emails and two Skype calls later, it was a first of many meetings to come. Obviously energized to start up, we were lucky enough to host two attendees (These are not part of the participants going to Turkey, but key allies in the national climate movement.) After brief introductions, the meeting kicked off.

 The discourse ensued firstly tackling the overall climate-related challenges faced in Kenya including inter alia; severe droughts, information gap, limited access to energy, little progress on green economy, youth involvement in climate activism and corporate engagement.

GPS Kenya participants and allies during their first face-to-face meeting in Nairobi

GPS Kenya participants and allies during their first face-to-face meeting in Nairobi

Participants then had the opportunity to express what they felt needed to be done by the different groups and stakeholders. Issues with the youth which emerged were: need for information and participation, mobilization and systematical organization in order to amplify effectiveness in the climate work.

The representative of PAWA (a youth organisation in Kenya) in the meeting informed the participants that the organization is working at finding climate-related information on the various processes and passing it on to the people, especially the youth. PAWA is also working on how to use technology to ensure that the information gets to everyone.

The enthusiasm in that meeting was great and members present didn’t wait for the country mapping exercise to kick-start officially. They have already started compiling names of organizations and institutions that they would want to partner with in building the national climate movement. We hope to have more details on the progress of interactions and networks with the identified groups.

Please check and join in the Facebook discussion on http://www.facebook.com/GlobalPowerShift and engage with other GPS teams from all over the world, traditional 350 supporters and other environmental activists in the upcoming steps, starting with Do the Math screen on May 16.