Meet Our Ambassadors: Allen Madarang
By KCI Youth Ambassador Allen Madarang
During my life, I have traveled to the Philippines many times to visit my relatives. I have made keen observations about the social, political, and environmental aspects of the country. The Philippines is at a higher risk of being affected by climate change because it is an island nation. Melting ice caps and rising sea levels can engulf islands and limit accessibility. Erratic temperatures and weather can devastate islands and mainland cities. Severe typhoons ravage shanty towns, destroy infrastructure, and cut access to electricity. In addition to these climate-related incidents, pollution and poverty are huge problems.
“Inspiring younger people to act builds deep-rooted ideas that will shape their understanding of the environment and all it provides us.”
I have witnessed crippling poverty, extensive slums, and food insecurities throughout my travels. Proper sanitation and environmentally regulated businesses are not guaranteed. High pollution rates impair the natural beauty of its major cities and islands. Some rivers I observed were black and filled with trash and human waste. The impoverished reside in makeshift shelters made of trash, debris, and other material. One of my relatives told me that sometimes there are stay-at-home orders due to harmful levels of air pollution. The Filipino government has tried to limit pollution by delegating cleanup crews, limiting cars from driving on certain days, and promoting public transportation.
I feel an obligation to help these marginalized people with climate change issues. Educating the youth through local activism, media promotion, and fundraising is essential to change. Inspiring younger people to act builds deep-rooted ideas that will shape their understanding of the environment and all it provides us. The next time I visit the Philippines, I will do my part by informing youth groups and organizations. I plan to interact with the poor and help them clean up their streets. We must preserve our planet for the sake of future generations. I joined KCI because I believe they can help me reach these goals. They will provide me the skills, knowledge, and connections to address complex environmental issues. The community of KCI is more than just an organization, it is a family. A family that is selfless and committed to the betterment of our future.