Diane Tatyana from the 350 Burundi team shares here the great meeting of new climate activists Yash and Bryan, a meeting that occurred during the Scout Jamboree and 350 Climate Leadership Workshop. 

Yash and Bryan are two brave boys aged respectively 12 and 13 years. Both come from Kenya in the cities of Eldoret and Nakuru. They met on the bus that took them from Nairobi to Bungere in Burundi where the 6 th African Scout Jamboree was recently held. During that gathering, the 350 Burundi team had a great opportunity to facilitate two climate leadership workshops in favor of 68 participants from various African countries.

Since their meeting, they became good friends and couldn’t get separated. On the morning of July 30, our team headed to the camp’s classrooms to select English-speaking participants for training.

Bryan was already there and was fortunate to be selected while Yash was missing. A few hours later, I noticed a young boy knocking on the door. My colleague Genny went to check what he was looking for. The young man asked: ‘Please can I talk to my friend Bryan?’ Genny granted permission to Bryan and they went out to exchange briefly. Five minutes later, Bryan came directly to me and kindly enquired: ‘Please can I get a manual and t-shirt for my friend Yash? He wasn’t there when we started but wants to attend the training though he’s late’.  We allowed him to get in and gave him the manual and a note-book.

Bryan and Yash with 350 workshop faciliators

Few days later, I met them walking around the scout centre and we greet each other. I could not remember their names and asked them to remind me their names, something they did very quickly. I asked them if they had ever heard about 350 and Yash, passionately and spontaneously answered: ‘It was my first time to hear about 350 and the training was so interesting’. I asked him again what was so interesting with the training. Yash replied: ‘I learned lots of things during this training especially on greenhouse gases emissions that are disturbing our climate. I am a member of a Nature Club at my school and I will be sharing with team mates everything you have taught us, then I’ll propose to prepare nurseries for distribution to people around our community’.

Bryan added: ‘I have been interested in three key numbers: 275, 392 and 350ppm. Once I get home, I will gather my people and tell them that we must do our best to get to back to 350 ppm, which is the safe level of CO2’.

I wondered how amazing young people like Yash and Bryan understand so fast the danger global warming is posing and make a firm commitment to do something about it while our leaders and policymakers are struggling to take the necessary action. I thought that if every person agreed to act as soon as he/she understands the importance of the number 350, then solving the climate crisis would only be a matter of a few years.