Liverpool BAME Communities Join Climate Change Fight

More Liverpool Black and ethnic minority communities have agreed to join the fight to protect the climate and environment to secure the future for their children and grandchildren as charity Citizen Outreach Coalition COC continues its climate awareness campaign. During a campaign event with Friends of Liverpool, a social meeting of mostly migrants from Cameroon on Saturday July 2 2022, the group agreed to continue recycling household waste despite prevailing difficulties of inadequate recycling bins or neighbours who are not bothered with any kind of recycling. It was agreed until the Liverpool council starts issuing spot fines for people who don’t recycle their waste, the problem will continue. The present campaign is part of a yearlong climate change behavioural campaign COC is running with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund Together for Our Planet grant scheme launched in November 2021 as part of  the United Nations Climate Change conference held in Glasgow.

Action always works

Event facilitator and Liverpool John Moores Environmental Health graduate Francis Langley reminded Friends of Liverpool that protecting the environment was vital for everyone because the dangers of not doing so affects people of all ages, races or social backgrounds. Originally from Sierra Leone, Mr Langley said Africans had been recycling years before recycling became a buzzword to protect the environment. “We learnt to reuse many things as kids and young adults because we could not afford new things. We handed our old clothes to our siblings, gave old shoes to our cousins and this reduced the amount of things we wasted”. We also used old tyres to make flipflops and flower pots, he said. Before his presentation, two short videos were projected; one a World Wide Fund (WWF) video titled “How to recycle correctly” and the second a video about a food bank ran by Pentecostal Church Christian Gold House Ministry situated off Kensington Road.  Both videos illustrated why and how everyone could easily help protect the climate by reducing food waste in their kitchens through preservation and recycling in a sustainable way that will protect the climate and our environment. During a question and answer session, participants wanted more information about recycling across Liverpool and how they could be more actively involved in protecting the climate with little incentives. One of the participants gave an example in Denmark where children collected and delivered plastic and other items to a collection point for a small cash payment. Friends of Liverpool President Browning Fondo thanked COC for the presentation and asked similar awareness campaigns reach other ethnic minority communities across Liverpool

The Winter Garden Event

In a related development, COC organised a similar climate awareness campaign at the picturesque Winter Garden in Toxteth in early April 2022. During the event, Abraham Ojapah who runs the Yamm Tree Health Restaurant which cooks and sells healthy/healing African based food, did a powerpoint presentation on some of the food he sells and others that could help reduce health issues like diabetes, high blood and other lifestyle diseases. “I started Yamm Tree as a call for action. I saw the need for healthy food for our growth, out empowerment and our survival. It is good that we start thinking consciously of what we eat” he emphasized.

Michelle Peterkin-Walker facilitated the session during which most participants agreed Black and ethnic minority communities have been involved in climate change actions for long but the media usually only spotlights the actions of other people.

COC Project Manager Francis Ngwa acknowledged creating awareness around climate change and other issues in ethnic minority communities was always a challenge and an on-going resolve of the charity to continue doing so whenever the need arises. Four videos were produced and publicized on climate related themes including climate protection themes food waste, use of green spaces, flying and driving less and reducing consumerism as a way to reduce energy and save the climate.

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