Name: Niyoyabikoze Emmanuel

Age: 24

Country: Burundi

Affiliations: Outreach Leader for Youth Acts 4 SDGs Campaign; Greening Burundi

Primary SDG Focus: 13: Climate Action & 15: Life on Land

About Emmanuel

Emmanuel is a social activist for global change with a focus on community development and climate change. Emmanuel works to protect the environment by volunteering his time to plant trees in his community to fight erosion and protect the environment. A student at the National Institute of Public Health, Emmanuel studies Health Sciences, training under the Midwife Department.

Perspective on the SDGs:

“As a member of the younger generation, I realized that youth have to participate in empowering others to make the world better. I did not want to be a person who focused solely on my academic field. I am the kind of person who follows the current problems. I’m interested in what’s going on in the world right now? What are the objectives of the United Nations? What do they want to achieve in 2030? What kind of problems do our world needs solved right now? Where is my position as an agent of change in contributing to climate change solutions, ending poverty, promoting health and well being of others? Where is my position as a youth  that will continue to develop our country and our world? Am I doing something about it all this? These questions haunt me.”

Education, Empowerment, Action:

As an outreach leader, Emmanuel channeled his deep reflections on the SDGs and his desire to do more in his community with a peer exchange session for 25 youths on 13 October in Bubanza Province. For more than 3 hours, the youth discussed the importance of the SDGs, with a particular focus on 1, 2, 4, 13, 15 and 16. 

Discussions from the exchange:

  • Poverty and hunger hinder the ability of people to move forward toward their full potential.
  • Quality education is helpful to combat environmental degradation
  • Prosperity, peace and justice helps to mobilize people around common goals
  • Climate action and life on land are very important to address in the community to alleviate suffering from things like deteriorating agricultural production, which in turn increases hunger and malnutrition, which leaves people more susceptible to diseases because of a weakened immune system

As a result of the exchange, Emmanuel started his project Greening Burundi, which aims to plant 100,000 trees across the mountains in Bubanza Province. Emmanuel has succeeded in creating a nursery of 30,000 trees ready to plant and is looking for assistance to help his project grow.

On-going items needed include:

  • Equipment to help plant tens of thousands of seeds during prime tree-planting season
  • Volunteer tree planters
  • Fertilizer
  • 70,000 more tree seeds

To contact Emmanuel, you can find him on Facebook and/or via email at niyoyabikozeemmanuel@gmail.com