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Kid Climate Hero

A 10-year-old speaks out for her community and the environment

Courtesy of UNICEF

Shalvi and her dad

JIM MCMAHON

Three years ago, Shalvi Shakshi’s life changed forever.

On February 20, 2016, Tropical Cyclone Winston slammed into the island nation of Fiji. The Category 5 storm was the second-strongest cyclone to hit land in recorded history. It pounded the region for two days. Afterward, residents suffered for months. Cyclone Winston left tens of thousands of people homeless. Many were in Shalvi’s hometown on the island of Vanua Levu.

Three years ago, Shalvi Shakshi’s life changed forever.

On February 20, 2016, Tropical Cyclone Winston hit. It struck the island nation of Fiji. It was a Category 5 storm. Winston was the second-strongest cyclone to hit land in recorded history. It pounded the region for two days. Afterward, residents suffered for months. Cyclone Winston left tens of thousands of people homeless. Many were in Shalvi’s hometown. She lives on the island of Vanua Levu.

“Some of my schoolmates lost their homes and had to stay at our school,” Shalvi, now 12, explains. The storm washed away farms. This led to food shortages. Flooding also damaged the town’s drinking water supply. “We had dirty water, or at times, no water at all,” Shalvi says.

“I felt very sad in my heart when I saw those affected in my area,” says Shalvi. She wanted to make a difference.

“Some of my schoolmates lost their homes. They had to stay at our school,” Shalvi, now 12, explains. The storm washed away farms. This led to food shortages. Flooding also damaged the town’s drinking water supply. “We had dirty water. Or at times, no water at all,” Shalvi says.

“I felt very sad. I saw those affected in my area,” says Shalvi. She wanted to make a difference.

FEROZ KHALIL FOR MAI LIFE MAGAZINE VIA GETTY
IMAGES

Damage in Fiji after Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

The frequency of powerful tropical storms like Winston is rising. Research suggests that climate change and warming ocean waters play a role. Seeing her community suffer inspired Shalvi to speak out.

Shalvi went to Bonn, Germany, for the 2017 COP23 climate meeting. She gave a passionate speech about the effects of climate change in her community. She was the youngest activist there.

Powerful tropical storms like Winston are happening more often. Research says that climate change and warming ocean waters play a role. Shalvi saw her community suffer. So she spoke out.

Shalvi went to Bonn, Germany. She attended the 2017 COP23 climate meeting. She gave an impassioned speech. It was about the effects of climate change in her community. She was the youngest activist there. 

COURTESY OF UNICEF

Shalvi giving her speech in Germany

“Giving my speech in front of so many people was exciting,” says Shalvi. “But I also learned how to reduce climate change, by actions like driving less and walking and biking more.”

Shalvi encourages everyone to follow the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can also plant trees, eat organic food, and raise awareness in your communities.

“We should let our voices rise and not the sea level,” says Shalvi.

“Giving my speech in front of so many people was exciting,” says Shalvi. “But I also learned how to reduce climate change. You can do it by driving less. And you can walk and bike more.”

Shalvi encourages everyone to follow the three R’s. They are reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can also plant trees, eat organic food, and raise awareness in your communities.

“We should let our voices rise and not the sea level,” says Shalvi.

Winston was officially declared a tropical cyclone on February 10, 2016. Label the ordered pair for the point Day 1 that’s on the grid.

Winston was officially declared a tropical cyclone on February 10, 2016. Label the ordered pair for the point Day 1 that’s on the grid.

On February 12, Winston’s new location was (1, 5). Mark the coordinate point on the grid and label it Day 3.

On February 12, Winston’s new location was (1, 5). Mark the coordinate point on the grid and label it Day 3.

On February 14, Winston’s new location was (7, 0). Mark the coordinate point on the grid and label it Day 5.

On February 14, Winston’s new location was (7, 0). Mark the coordinate point on the grid and label it Day 5.

On Day 7, Winston had moved 7 units up and 10 units to the right of its location on Day 5. Mark this point on the grid and label it Day 7. What is the location of the ordered pair? ( ____, ____ )

On Day 7, Winston had moved 7 units up and 10 units to the right of its location on Day 5. Mark this point on the grid and label it Day 7. What is the location of the ordered pair? ( ____, ____ )

On Day 9, the storm moved 1 unit north and 2 units east of its location on Day 7. Mark this point on the grid and label it. What is the location of the ordered pair? ( ____, ____ )

On Day 9, the storm moved 1 unit north and 2 units east of its location on Day 7. Mark this point on the grid and label it. What is the location of the ordered pair? ( ____, ____ )

On February 20, Day 11, Winston made landfall on the islands of Fiji. It was 11 units west of its location on Day 9. Mark the coordinate point on the grid and label it Day 11.

On February 20, Day 11, Winston made landfall on the islands of Fiji. It was 11 units west of its location on Day 9. Mark the coordinate point on the grid and label it Day 11.

Connect the points to trace the storm’s path. What do you notice?

Connect the points to trace the storm’s path. What do you notice?

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