Meet our Choice Ambassadors! Dedicated to fighting for the planet, these inspiring young people champion empowering solutions to our environmental crises. Outreach Coordinator Florence Blondel introduces the team.
“The lower the population, the safer the planet, and to me, the quickest solution to slowing population increase is by educating, supporting, and empowering women,” says Choice Ambassador Morris Nyombi.
Morris is a passionate and vocal climate change and environmental activist from Uganda. He was inspired to join the Fridays for Future school strikes after meeting fellow Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate. He believes that women should be the commander of their rights without interference from politicians or religious leaders, who often “demand many children”.
Like our other Ambassadors, he understands the crucial yet widely neglected links between population, the environment and women’s and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Population Matters is one of the few organisations working on this vital intersection, and we are encouraged by the growing movement of young people who “get it”.
Becoming a Population Matters Choice Ambassador means helping us raise awareness of the population issue, empowering solutions, and positive choices. Some of our Choice Ambassadors are already doing fantastic work campaigning on environmental and gender issues, and we’re very proud to be working with them.
“My greatest passion is working with rural communities, especially with women and girls, because they are the factor that can make a decisive difference for the future welfare of the planet,” says Isabella Cortes Lara from Colombia. Despite her young age, she is already leading vital conservation work as the Director of Conservation for Women for Conservation, a non-profit that empowers women in rural communities areas to save biodiversity. As part of her work, Isabella delivers programmes that include sex education workshops, raising awareness of sexual violence and domestic abuse, and facilitating access to contraception.
Choice Ambassador Joan Kembabazi from Uganda is also already spearheading her own organisation. Gufasha Girl Child Foundation advocates for girl child rights at a grassroots level and seeks to end violence against girls and women and empower girls to realize their full potential through activism and capacity building. She is an inspiring young force in the fight against child marriage.
Education is a fundamental human right for everyone.Yet for girls living in marginalised communities,this is still not a reality. This year,in the fight against Child Marriage,i urge all world leaders to put girls at heart and prioritize funding girls’ education. #IStandUpForHer– Joan Kem (@joan_kem) January 20, 2022
Like Morris, Ambassador Dorcas Wakio says witnessing climate impacts in her local environment motivated her to take up activism:
I saw how my country- Kenya – was being impacted by climate change. I saw people dying of hunger in the Northern parts of the country, floods in coastal regions causing havoc to settlements, house and property destruction, hot and unbearable temperatures, and our beautiful forests were being degraded mainly by human activities.
UK-based Ambassador Stella Wright, a member of the Population Matters London Group, reminds us of the importance of exercising positive choices in wealthy nations:
As much as I believe it’s mostly down to corporations and governments to make the crucial change and decisions we all need, there’s one very big decision each person can make in the UK today: the choice to have a smaller family. Having fewer children is one of the biggest ways to lessen your carbon footprint and actually make a difference as an individual in the future of our planet and for humanity.
You can read more about Stella’s activism in her blog, where she acknowledges our challenging work and supports us “every step of the way to make the earth a happier place for all.”
The world needs more champions like Morris, Isabella, Joan, Dorcas, and Stella so we are building a network of dedicated individuals whose values and beliefs align with ours. By raising awareness about the causes we mutually care about, our Choice Ambassadors will each, in their way, help us influence more people to take action. Their support is vital to our campaigning, enabling our messages to reach policymakers around the world. As Morris states,
What gives me hope is when I see my fellow youth rising up. Our voices can hold all decision-makers accountable if we use them well.
You can learn more about our Choice Ambassadors on this page, and we encourage you to follow their work via their listed Twitter accounts. If you are a young person interested in becoming an Ambassador, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Choice Ambassador’!