Since Greta Thunberg started with school strikes for climate in August 2018 in front of the Swedish parliament, the movement Fridays For Future has inspired millions to go to the streets and fight for climate justice. It is the first time the world’s youth unites to fight together for a common cause – with the goal of saving our planet. The objective of the movement is to change and enforce policies concerning the climate by morally pressuring policymakers to do so. Protests happen every Friday, with students missing school to be part of the protests. While FFF is especially strong and well-known in European countries, it has successfully spread all over the world and is now active in over 100 countries.
Uganda, with one of the youngest populations on earth, has become the leading Fridays For Future movement in Africa. The country is highly affected by climate change, experiencing unusually heavy rainfall, droughts and landslides due to deforestation. Environmental pollution and global warming are omnipresent and highly influence peoples daily live. Further consequences for the population are malnutrition and the spread of disease.
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, founder of FFF in Uganda, has experienced the effects of climate change herself. As a result of heavy rainfalls and droughts her family has lost the harvest and struggled to survive due to subsequent financial difficulties. She has been protesting since 2017 and has since spread the message of Fridays For Future in Uganda, building awareness on global warming. Quoting her impressive speech on the C40 Mayors summit in Copenhagen: “I made a decision to protect the only place I call home: Earth.” (Time, 2019)
Co-leader Leah Namugerwa started striking at an age of 13 after she understood that the large losses of crops, the destruction of buildings and even deaths within the Ugandan population were caused by climate change. For many Ugandan students, joining the protests is quite difficult as parents as well as institutions do not support children missing classes to strike and many parents forbid their children to participate. This makes it challenging for protests to grow, but nevertheless previous protests reached about 1000 participants. Leah has been lucky to have the full support of her family. She says: “At least if the leaders can’t make a difference, we can make a difference. We, as kids, we’re not too young to make a positive difference.” (Independent, 2019)