​​What does an ACA ambassador look like? A reflection by Natasha Tshuma

What does an ACA ambassador look like?

I would not have been able to tell you a year ago.

The application process for me was one filled with doubt and uncertainty.

“I’m not potential ambassador material”, I would think to myself.

I would think of the likes of Greta Thunberg and Ayakha Melithafa

And I would write myself off.

Submit.

I submitted the application form with even more uncertainty than I had in the beginning.

“Will it take too much of my time?” “I have to lead my own action?! I could never.”

The thoughts and the questions were endless.

“Congratulations!…”

I was selected! But the same doubt and uncertainty stole the joy of the moment.

“What does an ACA ambassador look like?”

Today I can tell you that an ACA ambassador looks like you and I.

A young person with a vision of a sustainable future for all.

I could have mentioned bold, confident, loud, well-informed on

everything related to climate change and climate justice – but that’s not who I am

but we often do only associate climate activism with these attributes.

Young and inspirational people from Malawi, Cameroon, and South Africa

Gathered to learn, share, and grow.

All from different backgrounds with different experiences of climate change

with the same passion and vision for our communities and the world.

The ambassador programme shed light on several aspects of advocacy –

The silent yet striking = the world of op-ed’s and art pieces

The open and enlightening = the world of environmental education

The loud and bold = the world of climate actions and public speaking.

The end of the programme has come but our work as ambassadors has just begun.

The world needs everyone including you and I (who often doubt ourselves)

To stand up for what we believe in

in a way that we are best able to do so

And in a way in which everyone can hear our message and story.

Natasha Tshuma

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