At the young age of 33, Regina Augusto Charumar, has become the ambassador and the face of the global campaign to mitigate the destructive impact of climate change in her home country of Mozambique. Her passion and dedication to environmental sustainability is unmatched and indisputable. Charumar strongly believes that any initiative geared towards protecting and preserving the environment should have youth as its critical component. This is because youth are energetic, innovative, receptive and willing to explore new things.
Forming a youth movement
To concretely address the challenges of environmental deterioration, Charumar launched a non-profit outfit called Environmental Movement Generation or Geração Consciente. Charumar, through the movement, marshals hundreds of youth to volunteer their services in carrying out a range of practical activities across the country aimed at protecting the environment. Mozambique, according to Charumar, is one of the countries that is experiencing the worse environmental degradation and she feels this requires active national participation. Mozambique has recently borne the brunt of some of the devastating floods and deadly tropical cyclones, namely, cyclone Eloise in 2021 and cyclone Freddy early this year.
Activities for volunteers
Some of the activities that Charumar developed and formulated for the volunteers include:
- cleaning and restoring the mangroves
- cleaning the beaches and public spaces and
- planting trees in schools and communities.
The young volunteers contribute their time twice a week and their only payment is the knowledge and satisfaction that they do it for public good. Through these initiatives the volunteers also get to connect and interact with their respective communities. They also contribute towards a cleaner and habitable environment. Furthermore, they learn about the importance of impacting the lives of ordinary people including developing other relevant life skills as well as networking with like-minded.
Raising ecological consciousness
The volunteers also raise public awareness by hosting workshops and lectures to promote widespread environmental consciousness across the country. Charumar’s ultimate goal is to see a more ecologically conscious Mozambique so that they can meaningfully engage with their global counterparts on environmental issues. In between studying for her PhD degree in sustainability, Charumar is also involved in other activities such as being a climate advocate, civil society volunteer and TV presenter. Her volunteer movement also imparts other critical values to the youth such as humanism and going an extra mile to help improve other people’s quality of life.
Reversing the impact of climate change
Charumar hopes to grow the movement beyond Mozambique and collaborate with other like-minded organisations in Africa and the globe. The idea is to continue raising public consciousness about the need to take care of one’s surroundings. She believes that if more people, particularly the young generation, can take an active part in protecting the environment, the negative impact of the climate change can be significantly reversed. She also calls on all women, regardless of their status or nationality, to step up to the plate and be counted. “The stereotype and disbelief in us, which we often carry or impose on us, makes us think that we are not capable, and we are capable and we can be whatever we want,” says Charumar.