Putting Young Children at the Heart of Climate Action

Putting Young Children at the Heart of Climate Action

05 Jun 2024


This World Environment Day, our CEO, Warren Farrer, reflects on the importance of integrating climate resilience-building actions in the work already being done for early childhood development (ECD) in South Africa.

We live in a world with a rapidly changing climate, and those living in under-resourced communities are being disproportionately impacted - young children even more so. Very high temperatures and droughts, floods and other extreme weather events are just some of the impacts of climate change that are already impacting the lives of many South Africans. In order to survive and thrive, communities will need to find ways of mitigating and adapting to the climate effects that they are already and will likely continue to experience.

Research by Capita indicates that promoting a child-focused approach to addressing climate change will result in improved air and water quality, increased green spaces and shade, healthier buildings, and communities better equipped to handle extreme weather events. These positive outcomes extend well beyond individual children and families, offering widespread benefits to the greater community. In this context, our work becomes more crucial to create better tomorrows for South Africa’s young children. Through our work, we have the chance to place the needs of those most affected at the heart of climate action.

The Foundation's participation in last year's UNFCCC's COP28 was an incredible opportunity to connect with global thought leaders and experts in the space of climate and ECD. It was an absolute honour for our young organisation to be given the space to represent our founder RCL FOODS and to share some of the stories of the communities we serve.

Our focus was on the practical ways the DO MORE FOUNDATION and our partners are working to support the resilience of young children and their families in the face of climate impacts. Stepping onto this global stage has made me realise the potential for the Foundation’s work to have a positive impact beyond our country’s borders. By sharing our learnings and experiences in the South African context, we can support organisations working in other under-resourced countries.

I believe that it is not just what we do but also how we work as a backbone organisation within the climate space. Together with our partners, we can contribute to the climate resilience of young children and our country.