“Why did you decide to go to the march?” I asked the reserved class of
Right alongside the students at the march was their philosophy and citizenship teacher. In fact, he had encouraged the students to participate. He stated during our interview, “We are in a citizenship class and as a citizen, you need to be involved and fight for the things you believe in.” He added that the class would do a chapter on climate change towards the end of the year and that this march had helped the students become more aware of the issue before discussing it further in class. The students agreed that the march had been a positive experience for them and that they will likely participate in other upcoming marches
On March 15, I attended a Brussels climate march myself to see firsthand the effort that Belgian youth are making to change government policy. The March 15 Brussels climate march was one of around 110 marches occurring globally. I quickly noticed at the march that the “youth” fighting for the climate actually included people of all generations. As wind and rain came down as it does only in Belgium, I saw young children sitting on their parents’ shoulders and carrying signs, as well as elderly people joining in on the chants. “What do we want?” “Change!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” Let’s see what happens.
Alexandra DeJongh is a 2018-2019 American Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Belgium who is currently teaching English in two secondary schools in Brussels.
Articles are written by Fulbright grantees and do not reflect the opinions of the Fulbright Commission, the grantees’ host institutions, or the U.S. Department of State.