Finding Community and Empowerment: My Journey with Bolygó

I have always been interested in environmental issues, but I’ve never had a community where I could freely share my thoughts, connect with people, brainstorm ideas and projects, and participate in initiatives.

During Covid, my motivation hit an all-time low. I felt stuck, and I even stopped trying to discuss green issues with the people around me.

In the summer of 2023, I met Bolygó at a festival, and after that, I started participating in some events. What I love about Bolygó is that I found a community where I don’t feel alone, where I feel inspired to think about new ideas and projects. Before, I always felt that unless I’m an expert in something, I can’t raise my voice, have a debate, or act upon a certain topic. At Bolygó, I found a community that welcomes different points of view, provides space to share thoughts and accept our differences, and I feel really empowered by that.

I joined the Bolygó Club training program to gain deeper knowledge and also participated in the youth exchange program organized by Planet One in Stockholm, which was truly an out-of-this-world experience. I felt that everyone had so much trust in me on these programs, which encouraged me to believe in myself and believe that I can take action.

During the exchange program, I got to know a Hungarian FFF member, and she told me a lot about their operation and the projects they do. I became really interested and decided to join them to organize an exhibition at Bolygó about how cities are so disconnected from nature. Since then, I’ve been actively involved in planning and realizing the project. I also got to know Mesi during the exchange program, and we’re organizing an art therapy workshop for climate anxiety together at Bolygó in April.

Lili Szabó, active Bolygó member & attendee, Budapest, Hungary


Rising to the Challenge: Women Leading the Fight for Climate Justice

On this International Women’s Day, as we celebrate the achievements and resilience of women worldwide, it is crucial to acknowledge the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and the vital role they play in the fight for climate justice. From the frontlines of environmental degradation to the halls of policymaking, women are leading the charge for a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Young women of Mboa Hub (our Cameroonian makerspace) during Make SMTHNG Week in Yaoundé, 2023

Think about it: when floods come or crops fail, who’s left picking up the broken pieces? Often, it’s women, juggling the weight of their families’ survival on their shoulders. Women bear the brunt of the effects of climate change, facing increased risks of displacement, food insecurity, and adverse health outcomes. In many communities, women are responsible for securing water, food, and fuel for their families, making them particularly vulnerable to shifts in weather patterns and natural disasters. Moreover, gender inequalities limit women’s access to resources and decision-making power, further exacerbating their vulnerability to climate impacts.

Staff and participant at Bolygó (our Hungarian makerspace) during the re-opening in Budapest, 2023

Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do. It’s a strategic imperative in the fight against climate change. Studies have shown that when women are involved in decision-making processes and have access to resources, they are more likely to prioritize sustainable practices and resilience-building measures. By empowering women to participate fully in climate action, we can unlock their potential as agents of change and accelerate progress towards a more sustainable future.

Macramet workshop with the young girls and members of Alternative (our Armenian makerspace), Yerevan, 2023

At Planet One, we are committed to empowering young women in the fight for climate justice. Through our programs and initiatives, we provide them with the tools, resources, and support they need to become effective leaders and advocates for the environment. From training programs that build technical skills to advocacy campaigns that amplify their voices, we are working to ensure that they have a seat at the table in the global conversation on climate change.

Make SMTHNG Week at Ubunifu Hub (our Kenyan makerspace) in Nairobi, 2023

Our commitment to empowering young women goes beyond our programs and initiatives. It is ingrained in the fabric of our organization, from the leadership team to the local coordinators working on the ground. We celebrate the women who drive our mission forward, from the dedicated women in the global team who play a vital role in shaping our organization’s vision and impact to the passionate local coordinators and youth leads raising awareness in their communities.

The young South African activist at the Ubuntu Hub, our makerspace in Johannesburg, 2023

Reflecting on their impact, Rose Muganda, the local coordinator in Nairobi’s Ubunifu Hub, said, “I would like to extend a special appreciation to our team of young women climate trainers/facilitators in our maker spaces, for guiding and inspiring their peers on the intersection of gender and climate action. Your leadership lights the way for others, proving that mentorship and collaboration are building blocks of an inclusive and sustainable future. Thank you for being role models and catalysts for positive change.”

Rose Muganda, The Local Coordinator of Ubunifu Hub, our Kenyan makerspace in Nairobi, 2023

In addition to our efforts, we also recognize and celebrate the contributions of women climate activists around the world. In Europe, one name that stands out is Greta Thunberg. At just 18 years old, Greta has become a global icon of climate activism, sparking a worldwide movement with her passionate calls for urgent action to address the climate crisis. Greta is not alone. Take Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist who, through her organization, the Rise Up Movement, is empowering young people to take action on climate change and advocating for the voices of marginalized communities to be heard in global climate negotiations.

Greta Thunberg during Fridays for Future march, 2023

Perhaps most inspiring are the young female climate activists in our maker spaces who are leading the charge for a better future. Through Planet One, we have had the privilege of working with countless young women who are passionate about making a difference in their communities and beyond. From organizing climate strikes to advocating for policy change, these young women are the driving force behind our collective efforts to combat climate change and create a more just and sustainable world.

“I feel climate justice is strongly connected to womens’ rights and every other discrimination existing in our world. Since everybody wants to reach their goal alone, it’s easy to see others as enemies. But after you realize you can only work together for the better, you will find other unique creatures as well. And after that things like the gender or color of your skin is not going to count.”, says Lili Szabó,  one of the regular attendees at the Hungarian Planet One makerspace in Budapest, Bolygó.

“As a female activist, Mboa Hub has been supportive in facilitating the networking with other female activists in Cameroon. The climate crisis affects women drastically and it is important to highlight their perspective especially on how they cope with the crisis”, says Dolorès Mache, the youth team lead of Mboa Hub in Cameroon.

Sofia Gustafsson, the Project Manager of Planet One in Nairobi, Kenya, 2023

Sofia Gustafsson, the Planet One global project manager, expressed, “I firmly believe in the power of young women to drive meaningful change in our world. It’s a privilege to witness the incredible impact and initiatives that have blossomed within our maker spaces. Seeing the passion and dedication of these young women inspires me every day. I’m excited to see even more young women join the movement and continue to lead us toward a brighter, more sustainable future.”

Anna Olinhejn, Youth Team Lead of Momentum, our Swedish makerspace in Stockholm, 2023

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us recommit ourselves to empowering women in the fight for climate justice. Together, we can harness the power of women’s leadership to confront the climate crisis and build a brighter future for generations to come.

Sherie Gakii, Planet One




Climate change is the most defining issue of our time. It is close to impossible to say that an individual exists without having faced the impacts of climate change, whether directly or indirectly. One of the unseen impacts it has come with has been on our mental health. Climate change is here with us and is here to stay for a very long time. Unfortunately, it is not something that we can also just wish away. This also means that its spill-over effects might also be longer and even keep recurring.

The climate crisis has forced most of us to come face to face with our fears, the most prevailing ones being the fear of the unknown and chronophobia: the fear of the future. More young people are quickly trapped in the cycle of trying to find solutions for the climate crisis and the mental exhaustion that it comes with. The ones who are not in denial, live in a state of ecophobia, and feel too helpless to even do anything.

Additionally, local communities that have lost their livelihoods, heritage, and culture have to deal with the feeling of irreversible loss. As they stare into the blankness of an uncertain future, they wallow in solastalgia: the feeling of loss when communities are faced with great loss due to climate change. All they can do is reminisce about how the world was and imagine how it would have been. For them, the climate crisis becomes more of an issue of survival.

In African society, mental health was rarely spoken of, with only extreme visible forms of it like madness considered as such. Luckily, it is now a conversation in public spaces, and it is getting the attention it should. This has opened up spaces for people to raise their voices and find solutions through story sharing, movement building, and being part of meaningful movements.

There are many ways to deal with climate anxiety, but the most effective one still remains connecting with nature. Nature still shapes our lives even in the middle of a technological revolution. And yet, our answers in the green spaces are slowly shrinking. This calls us to action: to act in our small way to save the planet. We fix the climate, we fix us.

By Barbra Kangwana, Youth Team Lead, Ubunifu Hub


Lusine and Lia’s Journey to Inspire Environmental Change in Armenia

Lusine, aged 19, and Lia, aged 20, crossed paths last March at the Alternative Youth Center in Yerevan.

Lusine, passionate about nature and animals, sought out Alternative to share her voice with and contribute to meaningful climate and environmental work. 

Lia’s interest in environmental issues ignited three years ago when she encountered ISSD, a social business in Armenia dedicated to recycling and raising awareness about plastic waste. Inspired, Lia delved deeper into environmental education, eager to spread knowledge and inspire action among her peers.

Their meeting at the Alternative Youth Center was coincidental. Both shared a keen desire to engage and mobilize young people to prioritize planetary well-being. At Alternative, they found not just a platform to express themselves but also a supportive community of like-minded individuals.

From this shared passion, their initiative, Green Mind, was born. Through social media platforms like Instagram, Telegram, and Facebook, they disseminate information ranging from facts to films, all aimed at nurturing greener mindsets. Despite the challenges of motivating Armenian youth amidst regional conflicts and security concerns, Lusine and Lia remain steadfast in their commitment to environmental activism.

In addition to their online efforts, Lusine and Lia are launching a series of workshops in March 2024 across universities in Yerevan and community centers in Armavir. They’ll focus on critical issues like water pollution and preservation, the environmental impact of fast fashion, and animal agriculture. Their awareness of these interconnected issues was heightened during their membership training at Alternative, fueling their determination to educate others. One striking example is how animal farming affects the environment, along with the poor conditions in which the animals live. This knowledge has become essential for them to share with others.

Both Lusine and Lia were actively engaged in Alternative’s workshops and events, culminating in their participation in a youth exchange in Stockholm in December 2023. There, they found inspiration in meeting fellow activists and participating in their first climate march.

If Lusine and Lia’s journey resonates with you, consider joining a Planet One Makerspace in your city and becoming part of the climate movement! With makerspaces in six countries across Europe and Africa, Planet One offers a global community dedicated to environmental action.

Story provided by Alternative Youth Center, Yerevan


Ida’s Environmental Law Journey with Aurora and Momentum

When Ida first stepped into Momentum, she was taken aback by the space’s beauty and warmth. It resembled a cozy living room, tailored for climate activists. On one wall, her friend Smilla, an artist and fellow member of Aurora, had painted a map adorned with various people holding signs and messages. It felt like a declaration: “This is a space for climate activists plotting to transform the world.” Momentum became a second home for both Aurora and Ida.

Her introduction to Momentum came through their generous offer to let Aurora utilize their rooms for meetings and events. This support was instrumental in organizing banner workshops, board meetings, and celebratory events. Furthermore, Momentum provided a hub for interaction with other young climate movements and activists, fostering solidarity and creating a rare safe space in Stockholm.

Ida’s involvement with Aurora began with her passion for nature, which evolved into a drive to combat the looming climate crisis. She found inspiration in the Urgenda case, where citizens sued their government over inadequate action against global warming. This led to the formation of Auroramålet, a youth-led organization that initiated Sweden’s first systematic climate case against the government. In Aurora, Ida serves as both spokesperson and scientific coordinator, deeply engaged in the organization’s legal efforts.

Aurora’s landmark lawsuit against the Swedish government on November 25, 2022, marked a pivotal moment. The atmosphere buzzed with anticipation at Mynttorget, where the demonstration commenced. Amidst the crowd and media frenzy, Ida hurried from an interview with Sweden’s prominent public broadcasting service. The march’s destination was Nacka tingsrätt, where the lawsuit would be filed. As they arrived, the board members delivered a powerful speech, signaling the beginning of a significant legal battle.

While Aurora awaits the highest court’s response, Ida remains driven by a mix of rage and love. She sees the exploitation of ecosystems, humans, plants, and animals as a grave threat, yet finds hope in the life worth protecting. Her advice to those considering engagement with Momentum or the fight for climate justice is simple: “Join! Civic engagement is not only crucial for the planet’s future but can also be enjoyable.”

As Ida leaves Momentum, she smiles, grabbing a banner collectively designed by the group. For her, this is just the beginning of a journey. Having graduated as a lawyer, she looks forward to dedicating her life to environmental issues and justice. Her ambition extends to creating a global climate litigation network, uniting countries and youth movements in holding governments accountable for their inaction.

Ida’s story resonates globally, showcasing how dedication and legal activism can pave the way for a more just and sustainable world.

Story provided by Momentum, Stockholm, Sweden


Ubuntu Hub’s Influence on Global Youth Engagement

At the heart of Ubuntu Hub lies the spirit of “Sankofa,” a Ghanaian proverb urging us to never forget where we came from no matter the great heights we reach.

Late November 2023 marked a pivotal moment as Andile Mlambo, a dynamic youth lead at Planet One’s Ubuntu hub, received a golden ticket – an invitation to represent indigenous communities at the 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in Dubai. Propelled by the Ubuntu hub’s ethos, Andile was chosen to represent indigenous communities and persons with disabilities at COP 28, thanks to Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, a civil society organization fostering discussions on marginalized groups in energy and climate change.

As the curtain closed on 2023, the ripple effect continued when the impact of Planet One’s Ubuntu project resonated not only with the youth leads but also with the broader youth community. In a remarkable turn of events, two key figures from the hub, Thapelo Ngobeni and Magile Khiza, seized the opportunity to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, for the Planet One Global Youth Exchange.

These opportunities serve as testaments to the transformative power of Planet One, creating avenues for young minds to learn, explore, and engage with the world. Andile reflects on the whirlwind of experiences, saying, “As a youth lead at Ubuntu hub, our calendar is brimming with bookings and projects. Thanks to established organizations like Earthlife Africa, we occasionally step into workshops, sharing our insights on critical climate issues.”

The alliance between Planet One’s Ubuntu hub and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg has cultivated a space where youth, women, and differently abled individuals converge to discuss the pressing challenges of climate change. These dialogues have become fertile grounds for exchanging perspectives on climate justice, food sovereignty, water, livelihoods, and the future of generations.

Andile’s journey from the Ubuntu hub to COP 28 was not merely a delegation; it was a privilege and an honor to be a change agent. “To attend COP 28 as a delegate of change was a special honor. My participation was enriched by the knowledge gained through being a youth lead at Ubuntu hub, attending intersectionality workshops, and engaging in weekly global meetings. These experiences have shaped my activism, allowing me to be a voice for South Africa’s indigenous communities, differently abled individuals, and an advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Planet One’s Ubuntu hub stands as a beacon, empowering the youth to become catalysts for change, fostering global connections, and shaping a future where diverse voices harmonize for a sustainable and inclusive world.

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa


Uniting for Empowerment: The 2023 Planet One Youth Exchange

In December 2023, young leaders and activists from Sweden, Hungary, Armenia, Cameroon, Kenya, and South Africa came together in Stockholm for an incredible opportunity – the Youth Exchange organized by Planet One. Over five days, this event sparked enthusiasm and inspired these next generation leaders to make positive strides in climate fairness.

The Youth Exchange kicked off with a burst of energy and excitement. Warm welcomes, icebreakers, and activities set the stage for connections to bloom. A tour of Fryshuset and an inspiring talk by the Fridays For Future team left everyone feeling fired up. The highlight? A vibrant session where we crafted banners for the upcoming Friday’s strike.

Day two was all about action. We joined the Fridays For Future strike, showing our dedication to climate action. Exploring Stockholm’s Old Town and visiting the Greenpeace Office added depth to our experience. The day concluded with a passionate debate, allowing each participant to voice their thoughts on the global fight for climate justice.

One participant summed it up perfectly, “It was an extremely positive day filled with community. The strike was one of the highlights for me: taking part in it was an interesting experience. Hopefully, it had a great impact and brought about some real changes!”

On day three, we immersed ourselves in nature at Hellasgarden. A sauna session and a dip in the lake grounded us and deepened our connection to the environment. In the afternoon, we had a workshop focusing on projects led by our youth, providing a platform for everyone to express and share their passion and creativity.

Reflecting on the day, one participant remarked, “Exploring another Swedish tradition was exciting, and venturing into nature provided a refreshing change. The workshop empowered me to initiate my own youth-led project.

Day four was about relaxation and creativity. Morning yoga set a positive tone,where we embraced moments of relaxation and introspection, while activities like baking vegan cookies and painting offered a chance to discover inner strength in response to climate challenges. The day concluded with a workshop centered around self-discovery through art, highlighting the importance of self-care and mindfulness while fostering deeper connection among participants. Another participant shared, “Today brought us closer together, especially through teamwork. Starting with yoga made it all feel right, and recording podcasts was a blast!”

The final day was bittersweet. It provided us an opportunity for reflective expression through various creative outlets. We engaged in crafting with a Christmas theme and crafting handmade guitars. The exchange concluded with a heartfelt goodbye dinner featuring African cuisine, marking the end of an incredible and transformative week together. Reflecting on the farewell, one participant expressed, “Today was emotional, especially the farewell dinner, which was a perfect culmination of great food, company, and shared memories. It was difficult to bid farewell to such wonderful people.”

The Stockholm Youth Exchange served as a powerful platform for fostering connections and inspiring a commitment to a greener future. We not only learned about different cultures but also forged lasting friendships and gained insights into diverse societies. Through teamwork and stepping out of comfort zones, each of us left with valuable lessons and renewed determination to effect positive change in our communities. 

“I used to think I had nothing significant to share, but this exchange showed me the importance of sharing knowledge with others. I’ve resolved to continue learning and sharing for the betterment of our communities.”

The friendships we made will continue to fuel the global movement for climate justice. As we part ways, we carry with us memories, lessons, and the inspiration to continue our journey toward a sustainable and equitable world.

During the youth exchange first episode of the “Unveiling Environmental Echoes” podcast has been recorded, an environmental talk among the passionate members of the Alternative Youth Center and the prominent leaders of the youth teams from Kenya and the Republic of South Africa.

Written by Danyil Nychka, the ESC volunteer from Ukraine at Fryshuset, Stockholm, Sweden


My Ubuntu Hub Impact Experience 

Many individuals envision a space that would make them feel recognised and heard. Quite often these  kinds of spaces are within arm’s reach, however our youth do not know much about them let alone  know the kind of support or initiatives that are provided. For the past few months, Ubuntu Hub has  engaged with youth from various artistic and environmental backgrounds, offering a platform that  initiates creativity and encouragement. The Hub assists youth around Johannesburg with amplifying  their voices, their artistic gifts, and their environmental projects or ideas. 

Personally, Ubuntu Hub has provided me with amazing opportunities and skills within the  environmental and maker-space. These range from social media and climate justice workshops,  strengthening my environmental passion towards protecting the environment, learning how to fuse my  artistic talent with activism, as well as socializing with like-minded individuals and learning in-depth  about the importance of diversity.  

Growing up in a township, I have recognised that lack of environmental awareness is a huge issue that  still prevails in parts of South Africa, and only a few have information about places like Ubuntu Hub.  My journey has equipped me with the right knowledge thus far to educate and inspire other young  individuals sharing similar values and passions towards creating a greener future.  

The constant effort made by Ubuntu Hub to reach more youth across South Africa through Instagram  and Facebook, has encouraged youth, including myself, to voice out their gifts to a broader audience.  One of the aspects that I appreciate the most at the Hub is that regardless of the project, workshop or  activity hosted; you ultimately always leave the space with a different viewpoint and at the end of the  day your heart is inspired to do more for yourself and others.  

The thing is, we all come from different backgrounds, and we constantly search for a place that enables  us growth and sparks creativity. At the core of our search, we want to feel like we belong and feel a  sense of appreciation towards our crafts. The fact that I found these qualities in a space like Ubuntu  Hub, filled with enthusiasm and innovation, allows me the chance to express my talents and appreciate  that everyone’s journey can be supported. 

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa


Harmony in Art and Impact: Summer Arts’ Journey to Environmental Impact with Ubunifu Hub

Art serves as a powerful means of communication, and for Ombok and Maxwell, the creators behind the Summer Arts initiative, it has become a vehicle to bring artists together for a common cause. Documenting and showcasing their work on a dedicated YouTube channel, they have harnessed their artistic forms to raise awareness about environmental conservation and protection within their community.

The turning point for Summer Arts came with a transformative 6-week training at Ubunifu Hub in September 2021. Ombok reflects, “Before the training, the community didn’t take us seriously. But after that, we now have an identity.” The duo now proudly wears a uniform that communicates their purpose, sparking curiosity within the community and prompting inquiries about their work.

Their impact on the community is tangible, reaching up to 300 people through a handwashing campaign and other initiatives in Lucky Summer. Through the program, they’ve not only interacted with other like-minded groups but also expanded their network, fostering collaboration for a more significant impact.

The training also paved the way for tangible support from Ubunifu Hub. Ombok shares, “After the training, we submitted a proposal that resulted in us getting a micro-grant.” This grant provided them with essential resources such as a handcart (mkokoteni), uniforms, personal protective equipment (PPE), spades, and hoes, significantly easing their waste management efforts. Ombok emphasizes, “Now when we are working, we are also protected.”

Maxwell sheds light on their future plans, stating, “Part of the funding we’re using to create a website so that we can showcase more of our environmental work and also promote art as a way of spreading the message on environmentalism.” The gratitude towards Ubunifu Hub is evident as Maxwell expresses, “We’re grateful for Ubunifu Hub’s support. Being in this uniform signifies that we are resisting climate injustice.”

Story provided by Ubunifu Hub, Nairobi, Kenya


Empowering Dreams: Seka Blaise’s Journey with Mboa Hub

Hello, fellow planet enthusiasts! I’m Seka Jean Blaise, a passionate advocate for clean energy hailing from the beautiful Grassfields of Cameroon. My journey with clean energy began when I witnessed the harsh realities of limited energy access in my community. Fueled by this experience, I embarked on a mission to empower youths like me and bring about a transition to clean energy in Cameroon, with a vision of energy democracy for rural communities.

My transformative journey took an unexpected turn one Friday afternoon at Open Dreams when I met Ndum Albert and Mache Dolores, Greenpeace Africa Volunteers. They shared the exciting news about the launch of a Youth Climate Justice Makerspace, Mboa Hub, powered by Greenpeace Africa and Fryshuset through Planet One. Little did I know that this encounter would lead me to a roller-coaster ride of purpose discovery and self-actualization.

Before January 17, 2023,  I was a novice in the field of climate action. However, the invitation to the opening ceremony of Mboa Hub changed everything. This youth Makerspace became the catalyst for my academic and professional transformation. Through Mboa Hub, I was nominated as a delegate from Cameroon, funded by Greenpeace Africa, to attend the Climate Justice Camp in Lebanon. This one-week experience, focused on clean energy, exposed me to expert leaders from in France and Greenpeace in Greece, shaping my perspective on energy democracy—a life goal I now aspire to achieve for Cameroon by 2035.

Out of this passion, DeWise Energy was born—a startup dedicated to providing affordable and reliable clean energy to all Cameroonians. Mboa Hub became the wind beneath DeWise’s wings, offering invaluable technical and financial support. Together, we’ve launched projects like the DeWise Fellowship, empowering displaced youths to propose solutions to community problems, and the DeWise-Mboa SunSpark Energy Accelerator Program, training 20 youths annually on clean energy technologies.

What sets Mboa Hub apart is not just its professional prowess but the sense of family it exudes. The unity within the team translates into effective programs that resonate with the youth. I’m grateful for the support from the Mboa Hub team, and I eagerly anticipate future collaborations and projects. Together, we’re not just dreaming of a cleaner, greener future—we’re actively building it!

Mboa Hub, Yaoundé, Cameroon