Me & the Bees Lemonade, USA
From an early age Mikaila was terrified of bees, after being stung twice. As she was so scared of them, her parents decided to teach her how important they are for the environment. In a world where the bee population is declining, Mikaila learnt how they pollinate plants which, in turn, helps to feed us and also provide food for animals. If pollination didn’t take place there would be less plants and we may go hungry. What she discovered changed how she felt about bees and she started to make and sell cups of lemonade from her house and the small amount of money raised was donated to organisations dedicated to bee conservation. Me & the Bees Lemonade was born and Mikaila has now gone on to have her own lemonade stocked in over 1500 shops across America, and continues to raise awareness of bee conservation.
Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez at the Auston American Statesman
Gotta Have Sole, USA
What Nick saw at 5 years old changed his life and, some years later, led him to create Gotta Have Sole. It was whilst visiting a homeless shelter in Rhode Island, USA, that Nick noticed children having to share footwear, wearing poorly fitting and damaged shoes or none at all. Some children couldn’t even go to school as it wasn’t their turn to wear shoes that day. This devastated Nick and he started to donate any good quality shoes and clothing that he had. Some years later Nick was in the position to start a community service project and that was when Gotta Have Sole was born. With support from some big names, such as Puma and Timberland, he has been able to provide donated new footwear to over 100,000 children living in homeless shelters, giving them hope and opportunity. Nick hasn’t just stopped at providing shoes, his organisation also offers scholarships to extraordinary teens enabling them to follow their dreams into higher education and they offer a Gotta Have Sole Ambassador Program for college students to work with homeless shelters
Photo by Inspire my Kids.
When Bana was 7 years old and living in Syria her life was unimaginable. Scared to leave their house her and her family watched as the country they loved was torn apart by war and this inspired her to take to social media and write about what was happening. Her accounts of hunger and airstrikes, along with the desperation for a peaceful and happy childhood, captured the hearts of many and she soon had an international following with famous names such as JK Rowling sending her ebooks after learning that she was a Harry Potter fan. Bana and her family were allowed to move to Turkey and make a new life there, but she continues to promote peace and an end to conflict. Her young voice can be heard amongst all of the politicians and reminds us of the real people that are affected by war.
Photo courtesy of Caitlin Johnstone.
Amy & Ella Meek
Kids Against Plastic, UK
After learning about the damage that single use plastics are doing to the environment, sisters Amy and Ella were inspired to create Kids Against Plastic, a charity that hopes to create change through education and action. They have worked to inspire children, whilst informing and engaging business leaders, politicians and academics and their aim to be ‘Plastic Clever’ has been adopted by cafes, businesses and over 900 schools around the UK. Their young voices have been heard at TEDx talks along with speaking at the Young Activists Summit in Geneva, Switzerland and they hope to bring about positive changes through inspiring young people to take action and say no to single use plastics.
Photo by Wicked Leeks.
KDoe-Tech & the Kevin Doe Foundation, Sierra Leone
As far as young inventors go, the story of Kevin Doe is about as inspiring as it gets. He was born in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, and from a young age started collecting any scrap metal or broken old devices that he could find, fascinated by what he could create and how he could help his community. Being completely self taught it is astonishing to think that at the age of 13 Kevin had made a battery that was able to power a number of homes surrounding him as they experienced frequent power cuts. He then went on to create a radio transmitter, amplifier and microphone that enabled him to broadcast his own community radio station under the name DJ Focus. Since then he has been recognised for his talents by leading experts, he’s won top prizes, spoken at industry events and founded KDoe-Tech and the Kevin Doe Foundation. Now 22 he is living in Canada and continuing his education with, no doubt, an incredibly exciting future ahead of him.
Photo by Claudia Scavuzzo / Times Malta
Enviromental campaigner, Sweden
Many politicians and people around the world talk about climate change and how the environment is placing a lot of pressure on our planet but Greta Thunberg has gained international recognition for highlighting it in a way no one has done before. At just 17 years old Greta has travelled the world talking openly and emotionally about how we need to take care of our planet, now, to save the future. She even decided to travel to New York by sailing yacht to save the air pollution that plane travel causes. Once there she addressed the UN Climate Conference stating “How dare you? I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you”.
Greta has created a truly international movement inspired millions to join protests demanding that governments cut carbon emissions, stop investing in oil, coal and gas and focus on sustainability, research and restoring nature so that everyone has a future to look forward to.
Greta has also been very open about the fact that she has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, a condition that means you may see, hear and feel the world differently, and she views this as very much a positive: “I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower”.
Photo courtesy of BBC Radio 4
Project I Am, USA
When Jahkil was 8 years old he set off, with his Aunt, on a journey that would change his life forever. On the streets of Chicago he helped his aunt distribute food to the many homeless people that they came across and from that day onwards Jahkil knew he wanted to make a difference. Building awareness of homelessness became Jahkil’s purpose and he had a heartfelt desire to help those in need out by offering them ‘Blessing Bags’ containing wipes, socks, deodorant, hand sanitizer, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water and more. These bags have helped nearly 50,000 people across the world and, as well as his home country, Jahkil has also provided Blessings Bags to orphans in Mbabane in Swaziland, volcano victims in Guatamala and hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Jahkil believes in finding your passion and then making the world a better place.
Photo by Dream for Kids
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