THATO ANGELINA GABAITSE
Growing up, I had an insatiable desire to help people in need. From as early as my childhood, I always picked on certain injustices and it grieved my spirit to see people suffer. As I became an adult, I always lived my life around standing up for my friends and sharing in the space of LOVE and KINDNESS.
As I become older, seeking out a career, I stumbled across advocacy work; joined an amazing group of young powerful women who faced the legislation by advocating for women’s rights and lobby for policy reforms to address the rise in femicide cases. Today we see the changes being implemented, as we now have a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) helpline in police stations that is being led by a GBV unit, among other interventions to ensure gender equities.
My journey through climate change activism is mostly based on the effects it has on young girls and women, who in rural and remote communities, are the most affected as they have to make sacrifices
to ensure that the rest of the family is cared for. Often, this translates to children missing school due to lack of sanitation facilities, lack of water for irrigation and household duties. This means that the children and women have to travel further to access water. The other thing that is affected is their ability to feed themselves. We rely on subsistence farming and in the past years, we have been experiencing extended drought periods.
My intention is to restore girls' and women's dignity through community development projects that encompass environmental stewardship through storytelling, entrepreneurship skills and climate education (mostly on nature based solutions such as building rainwater catchments).
Now I have an amazing son and I am even more motivated to take up space in UN conferences to demand and design climate justice for my community and the future of our children.