Anyone can be making a difference in their community and these five young people are changing their areas for the better. In the second part of this series, Olena Kagui profiles another five incredible individuals.
Young people should not be underestimated. They may lack the knowledge that is accumulated over decades of life experience.
However, many young people have the passion, drive, and dreams to make the world a better place.
It can be challenging for a young person to venture out and change the world; that is why these five people started by making a difference in their communities.
Weng Yu Ching
Today Weng Yu Ching is 24 and looks back at the day that Taiwan finally legalised gay marriage. She was one of the thousands of other LGBT activists waiting in Taipei for the emotional announcement.
Weng had worked at a non-profit organisation called Taiwan Marriage Equality Coalition since 2017.
She spent hours at a time campaigning on the streets and doing her best to raise awareness about same-sex marriage.
It took time, but Taiwan is now the first and only place in Asia to legalise gay marriage.
Not only did Weng’s activism help make a change in her own county, but it sparked conversations about LGBT rights all over the world.
When Jahkil was eight years old, he founded a non-profit organisation to help relieve the homeless.
Project I Am helps distribute care packages called Blessing Bags to homeless people worldwide.
As a young boy, he had trouble understanding homelessness because he thought everyone had a home just like he did.
He went home and asked his parents if they could help him give all the homeless people houses. Since that wasn’t possible, he had to figure out another way to help.
In 2019, Jahkil reached his goal of filling 15,000 bags and has since filled thousands more.
The bags are stocked with items like water, socks, granola bars, and toiletries. Today he continues to be a teen philanthropist, wrote a book, and is an anti-bullying activist.
As one of the 16 young activists, including Greta Thunberg, Ridhima Pandey jointly filed a complaint with the United Nations in September.
This complaint accused five of the world’s leading economies of their inaction toward climate change as a violation of children’s rights.
Ridhima lives in northern India and experienced the devastating floods and landslides of 2013 first hand.
She began researching how climate change can impact the planet with natural disasters and became frustrated with the Indian government for not taking action.
Her father helped Ridhima file a petition against the government when she was just nine years old.
Unfortunately, the case was dismissed, so she escalated it to the Supreme Court. Sadly, it is still pending, but Ridhima isn’t giving up, continuing to campaign across the country.
Jake Hammerman proves that you can make a difference by using the skills and talents that you have. When COVID-19 first started, Jake was a sophomore in high school in California.
He decided to take something he was good at, tennis, and he used it to give back to the community.
Impactful Tennis was Jake’s idea, exchanging tennis lessons for donations that can help others. He spent the summer offering tennis lessons to 7-13-year-olds in Lamorinda.
They had to make charitable donations to the local nonprofit Meals on Wheels Diablo Region in exchange for them.
In just 227 tennis lessons, Jake manages to raise $8,680 and hopes to continue the excellent work!
Since tennis can be played without breaking social distancing rules, he has continued offering lessons and raising even more money for a great cause.
Macinley Butson’s father has a career in medical physics and mentioned radiation on breast cancer patients.
When only one breast is affected, the other isn’t shielded during treatment and is exposed to excess radiation with many terrible side effects.
Macinley was shocked that there wasn’t already a way to shield the healthy breast. She was in 10th grade and decided to do something about it.
She created a device that helps protect the unaffected breast from radiation and was named the 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year.
She also created more inventions to ensure the provision of safe drinking water for developing communities.
Macinley continues to invent creative solutions and works as a scientist. Her innovative thinking has been helping so many people live better lives.
These impressive young people show the world that you are never too young to make a difference.
They all come from different parts of the world and use their unique skills to help their communities.
Whether it’s raising awareness, offering tennis lessons, or inventing something that can help others – there is no limit to what one can do with good intentions in their hearts.
Missed the first article of this series? Don’t worry you can catch up now.
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