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Young American raises awareness on climate change through world leaders |09 June 2023

Young American raises awareness on climate change through world leaders

President Ramkalawan signing Ishmachiah’s ‘climate ball’

• Meets Seychelles’ President


Thirteen-year-old American Ismachiah Oduwole met President Wavel Ramkalawan and the cabinet of ministers on Wednesday morning at State House as part of his ongoing efforts to raise awareness about climate change and encourage the world to take concrete actions to save the planet.

His visit to Seychelles was to get the head of state to sign what he called a ‘climate ball’, and write what action the country was taking towards climate change.

This was in line with Ismachiah’s quest, which began since the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup where his objective was to get as many people from different countries, clad in their country’s respective jersey, to sign the climate ball and have them pledge to do more towards climate change, when they got back to their respective homes.

Fans, locals, tourists in Qatar, football officials, traders from 28 different countries, signed the ball. Corporate executives around the globe including Fedex, Hawaiian airlines and many more have supported Ismachiah’s quest and also signed his climate ball.

Ismachiah Oduwale was inspired to start this campaign from a trip in Nigeria where he saw a lot of non-recyclable plastic and other non-recyclable wastes.

He said he was saddened to see such thing that was detrimental to the ecosystem and this was what sparked his interest.

The young philanthropist shared that Seychelles is the first African state to sign his climate ball. Ishmachiah, who was chaperoned by his father, said he chose Seychelles on the African continent for his first engagement due to the country’s biodiversity.

He also stated that Seychelles was the most sustainable country in the African hemisphere.

With different sustainable projects and ongoing works to protect the environment, marine life and many endemic species, it was of utmost importance to include Seychelles on his agenda.

Young Oduwale said Seychelles was doing a very good job in protecting the natural habitat. “Seychelles has already protected 33 percent of its ocean and protecting the endemic wildlife of the archipelago which is pretty good I would say,” said Oduwale. 

The young lad plans to attend COP28 in the United Arab Emirates at the end of year, to try and reach other heads of state.

His father said he was very proud of his son for taking on this challenge and gave all the credit to his wife, who helps their son with most of the research.

After signing the climate ball, President Wavel Ramkalawan expressed his solidarity with Oduwale and promised the young American he will invite him to Seychelles after the COP28 so that he could visit the island’s endemic species on the outer islands, since his stay this time around was very short.


Neil Sirame

Photos by Joena Meme

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