“Be Brave, Be Creative, and Work Together” – Winning Water ChangeMaker Advice to Youth

The Masungi Georeserve was announced winners of the Water ChangeMaker Awards in a ceremony at the Climate Adaptation Summit on 25 January. Their project is about restoring forgotten watersheds through youth-led movements. In a Facebook Live session on 4 March, Billie Dumaliang, representing the winning team, encouraged youth to be brave and creative, and to work together when tackling their climate challenges.

"The Masungi Georeserve story: Restoring forgotten watersheds through youth-led movements" proved that youth can be effective agents for change in the most difficult and politically sensitive circumstances. The team’s holistic approach to dealing with ecosystems degradation led to concrete and cooperative actions for the restoration of forests and wetlands, thus preserving biodiversity, improving water quality, and increasing resilience to climate change for generations to come. The quality of their communications and awareness-raising activities is part of what made the collective effort a success. 

“Emerging as a winner is a huge blessing to our small organisation. I would like to thank the panel of experts and judges, the whole GWP team and all the others who also applied for this award. It gives us inspiration and hope to continue our journey,” said Billie Dumaliang, Advocacy Officer & Trustee of Masungi Georeserve Foundation.  

Chris Ilagan, Chair of GWP Philippines, commented the win for the region: “The youth is a big hope, with fresh ideas and high energy, the desire and capabilities to serve as change agents for a better tomorrow. What this competition and the stories we heard told us, is that there are issues that need to be targeted but there are also solutions, if we are actually willing to put our energy behind them”. 

“Interestingly enough, out of the 350 applications from across the globe, 55% was submitted by youth, youth-led organisations or focused on youth as one of the beneficiaries of the project. This shows that youth is an important ally for change,” said GWP Youth Engagement Specialist Rianna Gonzales

Watch the recording of their discussion on Facebook: