Climate change is happening, and impacts are projected to increase severely in the future. Children and youth can be relevant agents of change in raising awareness. However, there is a need for recognition and educational materials that support critical thinking, solution finding and inspire action on climate change adaptation. Hence, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre in partnership with Plan International and Emerson College Engagement Lab created a unique tool with practical exercises to help communities adapt to climate-related issues.
Y-Adapt is a game that helps youth understand climate change and take practical action to adapt to changing environments in their communities. These actions are local interventions that reduce the impacts of extreme weather events. These can be rapid-onset events such as heavy rain leading to flooding, or slow-onset events such as extreme heat and drought.
The first test of Y-Adapt took place in the Philippines with over a hundred facilitators covering both rural and urban areas. The Philippines Red Cross, as the primary partner, led participatory playtesting of the tool and collected feedback that helped adjust game mechanics. The final version of the game covers seven modules that take participants on a journey of fundamental concepts regarding climate change, extreme weather, hazards and vulnerability. Each section transforms the concepts into practical discussions and experiences that help youth develop ideas to reduce risks, adapt, and support their communities build resilience. The final session encourages the implementation of their identified actions.
Later in 2017, Y-Adapt reached Haiti, where 30 facilitators were trained to roll out the game through Haiti Red Cross Branches. This year, Y-Adapt will have more pilots, interested National Societies include Guatemala Red Cross, Kenya Red Cross, Iranian Red Crescent, and Uganda Red Cross. Constant learnings from the pilots will continue the iteration of the game and availability in different languages. These experiments are just the beginning of a powerful knowledge-sharing tool that enables a collective design approach with local population and youth as advocators for climate actions.