Impact Stories & Blogs
Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.
Grace Ineza, Rwanda - Cohort 35
My name is Ineza Umuhoza Grace, I am a self-motivated eco-feminist impact-driven activist in the climate change sector serving the global community. I believe in the power of sharing the community voices in the pursuit of achieving global climate justice. I come from Rwanda, a small country in Africa that did less to contribute to the current climate crisis and yet we are at the frontline of experiencing its impacts! In the rural community, 3 to five people felt this impact in terms of drought, rainfall, flooding, erosion and landslide tend to be the current reality affecting people in the rural area, and mostly women, children as well as youth
Growing up in my childhood, I have a memory of waking up in the middle of the night to save my life as the intensive rain associated with the wind destroyed my house ceiling and allow my bedroom to be a little of a lake! I choose to be part of the solution by contributing to the very best of myself. YALI RLC EA experience strengthened my engagement. I applied with the commitment to learn how I can be a little bit like Kagame Paul, Kwame Nkrumah , Wangari Mata Maathai or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; you know a type of leader who inspires the continent and globally recognised in their respective sectors. Civic Engagement is my YALI track.
For a month, I received training to be a leader that will serve the African community by using the available tools in my environment. I am built to be strong when I face questions like “ How will you make the impact with limited financial resources?” “How can you be a leader, you are a girl?” “Don’t you think you are too ambitious for an African?”, all of these and similar ones looked smaller as YALI experience strengthens my ability to focus on the vision I have within me. I made friends and gained family from across Africa, but the most essential benefit of YALI RLC EA is that I regained hope for a sustainable Africa. I received the toolkit to be the hope to the best of me for my community.
I am the founder of a youth NGO called The Green Fighter aiming to increase youth active participation in the environmental protection sector, starting in Rwanda. Since YALI trained me not to give up when facing challenges, during the pandemic of COVID me and the global youth team we started the loss and damage youth coalition to seek climate justice for the exposed community through empowering the frontline youth.
In 2020, with the COVID pandemic breaking out, along with global youth we realised that the climate crisis is more threatening. We founded what is known today as the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, a global initiative aiming to drive action to address climate change impacts “loss and damage” through active action. For the past year, we grew to be present in +45 countries with +350 youth members with whom we wrote an open letter to the COP 26 presidency, USA, EU government in sharing our hopes, concerns and vision in the climate action. We currently have our statement of demand to the upcoming negotiation on climate change.