The National Youth Agency: Agency to spread Inconvenient Truthideas to UK young people

| 25 April 2007

The National Youth Agency's participation project officer Melody Hossaini has been selected for training on tackling climate change by US vice president Al Gore. She recently attended a training event at the University of Cambridge.

Of her 150 fellow trainees - which included high flyers such as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Carphone Warehouse boss Charles Dunstone - Melody was one of the very few representatives from the youth sector. Sadaf Ali from the Muslim Youthwork Foundation, based in The NYA, was also present.

The attendees were trained to make climate change awareness presentations based on Gore's Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. Melody's involvement reflects The NYA's own determination to address climate change, and underlines the importance of bringing the message to young people. She said: "It's absolutely crucial to target youth. We need to break certain lifestyle habits in order to make a big difference to the environment - using our cars less and so on. Therefore, there is so much value to be gained by taking the message to young people - as their understanding and commitment from the outset is crucial. Al Gore told me he was relying on people like me to do that, so that's a huge honour."

Melody will provide feedback to Al Gore on a new version of the training designed for a younger age bracket. She hopes to work with young people from the UK Youth Parliament, deliver the presentation and possibly train other groups of young people, and also to look at developing drama-based education as a way of highlighting the messages to a young audience.

She said: "Awareness raising is important as a first step, but this has to be followed up with informing people of what they can actually do to make a positive difference."

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