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I believe engagement in youth leadership summits, especially virtual ones, is crucial to developing close-knit connections with other like-minded, passionate youth. This summer, I, along with fellow youth of Heirs To Our Ocean (H2OO) — Charley (California), Lois (Guam), and Carlos (Palau) — spoke at the Taiwan International Ocean Youth Leadership Camp. Although the deadlines to submit recordings were tight, my team managed to pull through, effectively rehearsing our parts in a short period of time.

During our recorded presentation, it was clear that many attendees were interested in H2OO’s work, values, and accomplishments, as they raised many questions for us to answer. I was glad to meet more Taiwanese youth who had competent knowledge in how organizations work and was excited to imagine them applying this to future endeavors for our futures.

One of the Taiwanese youth joined Heirs to Our Ocean, and we both partook in the organizing committee for H2OO’s Operation Global Sweep!

I can proudly say that H2OO’s values reflected positively onto the attendees, and I hope that we can continue to uphold these principles of empathetic leadership instilled in youth-led initiatives while working toward better policy through our advocacy efforts!

Kalina and other Heirs present at the Taiwan International Ocean Youth Leadership Camp.

In 2021, Heirs to Our Ocean (H2OO) Palau established its own non-profit organization — H2OO Palau NGO! Despite all the challenges we faced with Covid-19 we managed to create this hub to use the vision and mission of H2OO to share it with our community incorporating Palau’s cultures and ways. We intend to be part of the collective of organizations that bring awareness and knowledge about our environment and the world to our community.

Most especially we want to bring empowerment and passion to the youth of Palau, as they will be the next generation of environmental leaders who can lead with empathy and take action that will change both today and impact our futures positively.

Starting off as a non-profit organization isn’t easy.

We are taking one step at a time to work towards strengthening the network, knowledge, and opportunities Palau can give to her people.

We look forward to 2022!

Youth leaders from the Lagos Nigeria Chapter had an eventful year participating in skill-building opportunities and brand audit campaigns working to hold top polluters accountable for their waste.

By Deborah & Dominion, H2OO Youth Leaders, Nigeria

Heirs from Lagos Nigeria kicked off 2021 by attending the H2O21 Water Summit that took place over four Saturdays Feb 13th- March 6th where Heir Deborah wrote a poem titled “TROUBLED WATERS”. We attended H2OO’s Policy Advocacy Retreat in preparation for the Ocean Climate Action Plan “US Hill Day” on April 13–14. At the Hill Days we spoke to US lawmakers. We also participated in the Manchester International Festival and we engaged in tackling plastic pollution as we led a team of about 20 youth in Nigeria for the H2OO Operation Global Sweep campaign and CNN’s CallToEarthDay campaign and attended the International Coastal Cleanup.

In the coming year, we hope to be able to work with many more youth especially in coastal communities and internationally.