The Climate Leaders Fellowship‘s fall cycle challenged high school students to research climate change in their communities and find local solutions. Partnering with local organizations, the students launched donation drives to support those affected and collaborated with other students worldwide to achieve their goals.
Read our interview with Esther below!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Esther Lee. I am 15 years old and I live in the Philippines.
What specific problem were you addressing in your community?
There were two problems we thought of when we did our project. The first one is cold weather people have to battle and the other problem is that new clothing often lands in landfills rather than finding a new owner.
Tell us about your project!
We collected clothes from community members such as family and friends and we were able to partner with a local church that was responsible for distributing the clothes to the people who need warm clothing to battle the cold weather.
We mainly collect clothing garments however we also accepted other donations, such as bags and shoes.
This project’s target audience was disadvantaged children in our city who cannot afford to buy clothes and must wear clothing that is unsuitable for them.
This is to make clothes more available to individuals who do not possess a decent pair of their own from those who have an abundance of clothes and are willing to give them away.
We collected these clothes from family, friends, and church members. We worked with a small Korean church that tries to convey the message of God to the communities.
How did you implement your project?
We first created posters we could post on our social media accounts. Later on, we spread the word through friends, social media, and group chats.
We mostly promoted our project through online platforms, however, we also promoted our project by telling people we know such as our friends and family.
For the collection of clothes, we had a pick-up and drop-off system that enabled people to donate however they chose. The pick-up system was where we picked up their donation in a designated area and then gave it to the organization. The drop-off system is where they dropped donations off at the local church.
What were the results?
We gave all donations collected to church members in need and individuals known to the church, as this church serves as a missionary church, spreading the message of God to underprivileged local community members.
We collected enough clothes to supply to the members of the church. Moreover, this initiative felt really fulfilling since it allowed me to aid those in the community who were in need while simultaneously helping to decrease the environmental effect. In this initiative, I was fortunate to get radiant smiles and words of thanks from the people.
How did participating in the Climate Leaders Fellowship make you feel?
When I first saw the application form link I thought it would be a great and fun thing to do. While I was in the different Zoom meets I was inspired and wanted my project to be successful because I was in an environment that enabled me to learn, be inspired, and design and implement a project.
Later on, I realized that this small act could help a lot of people. I was grateful that I grabbed the chance that made my project successful.
I am proud of my results and I am very happy that I was able to help people by bringing them new clothes.
Anything else you want to tell us about your project?
At first, I was hesitant about whether I should join the fellowship because I thought I would have a hard time with time management and bringing in people who can donate. However, I was able to manage my time and we were able to bring in contributors.
I was able to complete my goal by managing my time and planning ahead of time. For example, we set up a schedule early on, and we followed the time plan for each part of the project. And, we were able to collect an amount of clothing because we asked the help from other people to donate.