The Power of a Narrative — Youth Climate Action Solutions

Richard Munang
4 min readMar 25, 2022


We must inspire everyone to know they can make progress regardless of where they are. If you don’t build your skills to turn a challenge into an opportunity, you will miss opportunities. Instead of just complaining about problems, use that time to learn a new skill to prepare themselves to seize opportunities; who loses.

There is profound power in a narrative, and wrong narratives can dissuade many to forget that they have the power and the ability to do that which is at their doorsteps to turn challenges into opportunities. We must avail ourselves to retool skills as the foundation for readiness to take chances. Skills acquisition and retooling are necessary to galvanize young people for productivity in a competitive world. That is the essence of #innovativevolunteerism. It’s about inspiring everyone to turn their passions into profits. That model is working, and we see the impacts and transformation. It’s not a textbook coded matrix or paper sheets based on no reality on the ground that informs it.

#SkillsRetooling is key. If we inspire and guide our young people to know that they have to be ready to seize opportunities, we will close a crucial gap. They need to know that they have to use what they have to get more prepared and seize opportunities. The most significant resource is people’s skills.

The narrative of problems alone, not solutions, sometimes dissuades many to act. We need a whole of social engagement to address the triple planetary crisis of #ClimateChange, #Biodiversity Loss, #Poluttion and #waste.

We must change the narrative to make our youth know they are just as powerful and leaders in their own right and should continue creating their spaces as they drive solutions to turn challenges into opportunities. My advice and mentorship to young people are to see themselves as solutions providers, NOT Complainers in chief. They have the gift of time, energy, ideas and passion and must create their spaces and innovate using what they have, not what they hope to have. Some will ask that not everyone have an opportunity. The world is not one where everyone will be given a chance. It would be best to seize opportunities, and the starting point is to get ready with what you have and retool your skills.

Sloganeering is no solution. We must inspire our youth to start with what they have wherever they are. Many youths across the continent are living testament to what I am saying here. They started with nothing and today have trained over 300,000 others to turn #environmental challenges into opportunities. Young people are stepping up to the plate, and they are using local materials to carbonize waste and develop this themselves. Most of them have never gone to formal schools, but they decided to learn a local skill and today have created opportunities for communities. They never just complained and demanded without anything to show as they demanded structural changes to systems. Now they have proof of concept and can showcase the gaps they need to be closed and the policy changes they need to make a difference.

Solutions take time to get built. It starts like ideas and dedication to get things done, and with this, there must be a high dose of passion and inspiration driven through purposeful visions. I say this to mean we must be realistic about what we have and work with it as we demand more using our experiences on the ground. Are we preparing the young people with the skills to turn agricultural waste into fuel #briquettes? Add value to agricultural products etc.

My experiences have taught me that empowering people is the best bet to accelerate socio-economic development and ward off vulnerabilities. Empowerment is the ability for each of us to use what we have to turn a challenge into an opportunity for the great good of our communities and society as a whole. The world as it should be can only be achieved by addressing the world’s issues. That takes us to be realistic and focus on narratives that inspire others to usher themselves to transformation #climateaction and development. That’s the true genius of transformational #climateaction and #development.

The answer lies in one critical attribute — choice.



Richard Munang

Expert environmental policy, climate change and sustainable development. An accomplished public speaker. Founded the Innovative Volunteerism mentorship program