STOCKHOLM – Wangeci Nderitu Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl, is a wonder kid and activist who is adding her voice to the global call for the fight against climate change.
Thunberg in 2018 staged the first school strike for climate change (‘skolstrejk för klimatet’) in Sweden outside the Swedish Parliament Building. Greta’s bold move was reportedly inspired by a previous school class walkout in Florida against the United States gun laws.
Thunberg in 2018, staged the first school strike for climate change. Credit: Ernesto Ruscio. Source: Getty Images She continued to stage the strikes alone every day until the Swedish national election. With her tenacity and determination, many people started to join her.
In March 2019, Greta staged another strike in Berlin also in solidarity with the global call for the fight against climate change.
Greta addresses the audience at the Marble Arch Extinction Rebellion camp. Credit Greta Thurnberg. Source: Getty Images While Greta has become a global figure in the fight against climate change, many do not know that the little girl has some health challenges which she had defied and does not allow to hold her down.
Four years ago, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s, is a developmental disorder characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests.
Greta, however, learnt how to use the health challenge as a driving force in her campaign. Her Asperger’s means that Greta understands the environment is more upsetting and distressing than others, a development that energises her to take environmental issues more seriously. She has also been diagnosed with OCD and selective mutism.
Greta first came across and learnt about the concept of climate change when she was eight years old. She became severely affected by the environmental condition and by the age of 11, she sank into a period of depression. Greta stopped going to school and lost up to 10 kilos of weight within two months.
This experience later spurred her to discuss her environmental concerns with her parents.
Greta wants the world to take climate change issue more seriously. She recently addressed thousands of activists in perfect English at a rally in Sweden where she encouraged people to film her and spread her message on social media.
Greta’s climate change activism has enabled her meet many world leaders, among them French president, Emmanuel Macron, The European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and UK politicians including Jeremy Corbyn.
She has received commendations from the United Nations (UN) and also German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
THIS STORY IS COURTESY OF TUKO