Vulnerable and under-represented populations—in particular women, youth, and indigenous communities—often face a serious information gap when it comes to solutions-based information on how to adapt to climate change’s impacts. Despite bearing the least responsibility for the conditions accelerating climate change, they are often impacted most and their voices and concerns are rarely heard, in either local or international media.
At the Refugee Law Project, she uses video advocacy to fight injustices and human rights abuses.
Twenty-seven year old Helen Fortunate Mayelle is Media and Communication officer at Refugee Law Project based in the war torn northern region of Uganda, where she has found a passion for video advocacy, using it to fight injustices and human rights abuses.
Mayelle started out in community radio in her home town of Arua. While working at Radio Pacis ("Peace" in Italian), she received training in radio production from Internews and produced radio dramas about social issues, including gender based violence.
Luganda is Chairman of the Network of Climate Journalists in the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA), one of several regional networks of journalists covering environmental issues worldwide that partners with Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.
Making climate information accessible – through local languages, distilled jargon, and accessible media – is critical, says Luganda. “Telling the climate change story, its causes and effects, and the ways in which we can contribute in the fight against it, remains a difficult task for any party involved, including the scientific community, governments, the media and NGOs,” says Luganda.
What is the most important thing for Westerners to understand about life in Uganda?
Westerners take communication and access to information for granted. Westerners need to understand what a day-to-day challenge it can be to live in extreme poverty, with the threat of war looming or actual war going on around you—and not know where the danger lies, where the landmines are, where troop activity has been seen. Where we would just turn on CNN or read the New York Times, Ugandans struggle to get access to that information—it’s just not available to them.