Maiken, 13, Botswana
Education, Environment, Health, Safety
Most 13-year-olds don’t spend their time thinking about the environment, use their summers to distribute mosquito nets or understand what it feels like to be interviewed on radio and television shows. Most 13-year-olds are not officially recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as an ambassador. Most 13-year-olds are not Maiken. Born into a self-described low income family, Maiken derives her activist inspiration from her father’s malaria awareness campaign. In addition to being an ambassador to the UN, Maiken is affiliated with Environmental Online (ENO) Africa and works heavily under the International Education and Resource Network’s (iEARN) tree planting initiative sprucing up her semi-desert country.
Though electronic mediums are an effective method, when spreading her message Maiken also relies on more conventional practices such as speaking at assemblies (she has spoken at over 60 of them in less than 2 years), newspaper coverage and one on one dialogue. "I talk to my friends and everyone else about how important it is to save trees as we prepare for global warming. The future belongs to us!"
She has also successfully established an environmental club at her school. Recently, she attended a UN Junior Board conference in Stavanger, Norway where 700 of her peers voted to renew her ambassadorship through June of 2010.
To learn more, check out her websites at: