NAVIGATING NAIROBI AND FORGING ALLIANCES: MY EXPERIENCE AT THE ISEC REGIONAL CONVENING
As an advocate for environmental change and a passionate believer in the power of collaborative efforts, my recent participation in the International Student Environmental Coalition (ISEC) Southern and Eastern Africa Regional Convening in Nairobi, Kenya, was an eye-opening and enriching experience. With the theme "Shared Vision for Climate Action," the convening aimed to foster unity and cooperation among national directors from various countries in the region. In this blog post, here is my personal journey, interactions, and the invaluable lessons gained during this meaningful event.
Embarking on the Journey: Travelling from Tanzania to Nairobi
The journey to Nairobi from Tanzania was not just a physical one; it was a voyage through cultures and landscapes. Nairobi, known for its vibrant atmosphere, embraced me with warmth and diversity. One aspect that particularly caught my attention was the unique mode of public transportation – the "Matatu" buses. These colorfully adorned vehicles became my means of exploring the city, offering a firsthand experience of Nairobi's dynamic urban life. Riding the Matatu buses allowed me to connect with the local environment and witness the daily rhythm of the city, reinforcing my belief thaot the best way to understand a community is through its public transportation system.
Connecting with Fellow National Director
The convening brought together dedicated national directors from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Malawi, and our Executive Director Mr. Harrison Ashangwa from Cameroon. Engaging with my counterparts provided a platform for fruitful discussions on the environmental challenges our respective countries face. It was enlightening to learn about the diverse activities and initiatives each director was spearheading in their home country. From community-based tree planting projects to awareness campaigns on sustainable practices, the exchange of ideas painted a vivid picture of the grassroots movements taking shape across the region.
Lessons from Grassroots Movements
One of the most impactful aspects of the convening was the opportunity that each of us had to share experiences and learn lessons learned from grassroots movements in combating climate change. The challenges faced by each nation were similar at some point, yet the underlying thread of resilience and determination was universal. From Greener Schools Project in Malawi to coastal conservation efforts in Mozambique, the collective wisdom shared during these discussions underscored the importance of localized solutions and community involvement in addressing climate change.
Forming Friendships Beyond Borders
The bonds forged with my fellow national directors extended beyond the conference room. As we explored into shared challenges and aspirations, friendships blossomed.
The cross-cultural exchanges during meals, breaks, and collaborative workshops created a sense of unity and solidarity. These connections not only enhanced the overall experience but also laid the foundation for potential collaborations in the future. In the fight against climate change, the strength of our alliances is paramount, and the friendships formed during the convening serve as a testament to the power of collective action.
The ISEC Southern and Eastern Africa Regional Convening in Nairobi was a transformative experience that deepened my understanding of the regional environmental landscape. From traversing the streets of Nairobi on Matatu buses to engaging in meaningful discussions with passionate national directors, every moment contributed to a shared vision for climate action. As I return home, I carry with me not only valuable insights but also a network of allies who, like me, are committed to creating a sustainable and resilient future for our communities and the planet.
Author: ABDUL NASRI JUMBE
ISEC National Director of Tanzania