In 2006, a young man rallied the youth of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, to protest against a Dutch shipping company found to be dumping toxic waste in his hometown. That same man, Ange David Baimey now heads the Youth Volunteers on Environment NGO, a member of CAN West Africa and thus related to the Southern Voices programme.
"Many, many people have died because of the waste of the ship, the Probha Koala. Until now, scientific studies have still not determined its' toxicity," Ange still seething with anger, remarked.
A budding university student at the time, Ange remembers, "This was my home. I needed to take action. This is when I started my fight!"
The fire that burned inside Ange was fierce, and with it he ignited the consciousness of environmentalism to the youth of the Ivory Coast.
Ange encouraged the youth of his city to block the roads in protest and his actions drew media coverage to this environmental disaster. As one of the main organizers, Ange became one of the spokespersons and found himself in the media spotlight.
When asked to reflect on the media training he has received from Southern Voices compared to when he first engaged the media, Ange gave a cheeky smile and laughed.
"I've realized the importance of organizing my thoughts."
"When I first started I did not know how to speak with journalists. I was young. I did not know how to separate my ideals from the story."
"Now, I plan what to say, when to ask for more information and more importantly, what not to say."
Taking on the role of environmental crusader, Ange's was recognized and was invited by Unite-Jeunesse of OIF, the Francophone Institution to participate in the 2006 UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Nairobi (COP12).
It was here that Ange met with Sena ALOUKA, Togolese pioneering environmental advocate and they started collaboration, eventually forming Ivory Coast's most active youth based organisation.
Today, Ange and his organisation focus on building the capacities of other NGOs, so that together, they may build the critical mass needed to influence the climate change policy makers.