YJI Associate Editor Rachel Glogowski in China. Spring 2012.
For Earth Day today, Youth Journalism International showed both its global reach and its unique ability to mobilize a team of young reporters in many lands.
One week ago, we asked our students to go out and interview at least one person about their thoughts and plans for Earth Day and, if possible, to take a picture of whomever they spoke with. They had 48 hours to turn something in.
First to weigh was Tasman Anderson, a student in Australia who interviewed a 19-year-old woman who planned to hike the Mount Tamborine Mountains in Queensland so she could be among nature and perhaps take some photographs of glow worm caves.
Soon after, we heard from YJI reporters in Malaysia, India, the Netherlands, South Korea, Virginia, Pakistan, Uganda, Afghanistan, South Africa and more.
They painted a picture of a world where young people share a simple vision of a greener, cleaner planet – and one that would be better off if we could all just plant a tree.
It didn’t matter whether the young people were Muslims or Jews, Americans or Afghans, dark-skinned or light. What they had a common, a love for this Earth we share, was so much more important than what divides them.
We urge you to read the main story that wraps up the work they did last week – you can follow this link – as well as related stories about a Ugandan hip hop singer who wants to preserve the planet and the latest at the Bristol-based Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, one of the nonprofits that YJI partners with.
There is, as usual, much more that Youth Journalism International has been doing.
One of our young reporters in Brooklyn, Emma Bally, wrote a sterling piece on the reopening of a neighborhood flea market. Another, Sara Chatterjee, wrote about the unexpected death of her French college president, Richard Descoings. Robert Guthrie, in Scotland, wrote a column about Earth Hour, when lights across the world went out for a bit.
Before that, some of our Connecticut writers wrote about an exhibit on racism at Hartford’s Mark Twain House and others helped out at the Harriett Beecher Stowe House next door for a 24-hour reading of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which led to another story and a long video news report as well.
We are so proud of these eager, idealistic and wonderful young people. Their work is amazing. Their futures are so bright.
When we pause to consider it, we realize how much of what these students do today was made possible by those who have donated to Youth Journalism International over the past year. The financial help of so many friends has allowed us to pick up the pace, extend our reach and do more for our students on many, many levels. We are grateful beyond words for all that assistance.
The only down side to YJI is that our waiting list gets ever longer. We desperately need to bring on paid staff to cope with the growing backlog and expand the opportunities we provide to students in more than 40 countries on six continents. If you or anyone you know is in a position to help, we hope you will. We’d be happy to talk to anyone who wants more information.
To keep up with YJI’s work, you can read YJIBlog.org daily and check out our website at YouthJournalism.org. We’re also on Facebook at Facebook/youthjournalism and on Twitter at @yjinternational, @jackiemajerus and at @SteveCollinsYJI. You can also find us on Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media sites.
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