Climate Change Recovery
This site highlights the work of the youth, families and volunteers of Youth Acting for Our Earth (YAE!) and their families and friends across the U.S. and beyond.
YAE and Climate Change Recovery grew out of the work of one family (Pam, Rob, Miko, and Isaac Vergun) and their friends and acquaintances and from our desire to act on the Climate Crisis. Our goal is to get youth and their parents educated and empowered to speak out in ways that will force adults and youth to act with all ‘required’ speed.
To donate to the work of Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE), please contact Dr. Pam Vergun, MPA directly at vergun @alumni.stanford.edu. Though donations to YAE are not tax-deductible due to our not having 501c3 status, focusing for now on a not-for-profit consulting approach for the work we do, we assure you that your donation will be well used to enable us to help youth train other youth about the Climate Crisis.
The Vergun family (Miko, Pam, Isaac, and Robert Vergun) with Kelsey Juliana, Hazel Van Ummersen, and Alex Loznak after filing the Federal Petition in Eugene for Kelsey Juliana et al. v. U.S. Join us in insisting that the youth be heard and that the trial be scheduled immediately—and recorded, live-streamed, and archived for Americans and others to be able to see. Learn more at: Our Children’s Trust.
Limited-Time: Youth v. Gov available only during select film festivals via the web!
For details, go to Youth v. Gov—The Film.
Youth Acting for our Earth—YAE!
Join us for one of our upcoming youth climate trainings, or invite us to your area!
For a quick overview of the Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE!) Youth Climate Training Program, check out our most recent Spanish/English bilingual flyer about YAE.
Our first ever video conference training:
Saturday, April 17, 2021—Earth Video Conference Training, Oregon—Registration is now open!
Students from around the world are invited to register and do this free training to build your ability to make a difference in our Earth’s collective future!
Note: If you are a teen who can come without your parents, that’s great, but please consider encouraging them to come anyway and attend the parents’ meeting and final presentation, so they can better support your activism.
Cool Islam will be our host for this training for families of all backgrounds. Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal of Portland and its Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) Committee, Oregon Interfaith Power & Light, and Easy Treesie are co-sponsoring this training. If you are part of an organization that would like to be a co-sponsor, please contact Dr. Vergun at vergun @alumni.stanford.edu.
Web Conference—Link will be sent after registration
Our Town—And Yours
This Youth Climate Training will be led by Abbie, Travis, Ellee and Rikin, and likely other amazing youth climate leaders, Badi Cross, Miko Vergun, and Isaac Vergun. Parent Leader Rob Vergun will be leading the parents’ meeting, or if he ends up with the type of conflict that parents often have, we will have a surprise, experienced guest leader. Students who have already done YAE’s training and want to apply to help lead this one, please contact Pam right away.
Youth Climate Trainings are free and open to all students in grades 4-12th and in college. Younger students may be able to join with prior permission and special arrangement.
To register for this Youth Climate Training, please click here: Student Registration—April 17, 2021—Earth Video Conference Training.
If you would like to register as an adult volunteer or as a youth leader to lead this training, please click here: Volunteer Registration—April 17, 2021—Earth Video Conference Training.
Share the bilingual English & Spanish Youth Acting for Our Earth – YAE – April 17 2021 Web Conference Youth Climate Training Flyer with your school, friends, and community–it will give you more information about our training.
What the flyer won’t tell you is our amazing line-up of special VIP guests from around the world! They are:
🇧🇩 Mukta Akter is a young professional from Bangladesh who holds a Master Degree in Economics and is working on the Global Water Partnership. She is working to increase gender equity and to engage and empower women and girls through sustainable development.
🇵🇰 Muhammad Wasif Bashir Babar comes from Pakistan and holds a Master Degree in Sociology, working on the Global Water Partnership and related issues. One day in Pakistan, Wasif signed up for a YAE training in the middle of the forest in Oregon, which is how he and Pam met, and which led to his doing a training somewhat like this one back home.
🇷🇼🇫🇷 Jean Felíx Ntango comes to us from France, where he lives with his family. He is also from Rwanda and received his a masters degree in development studies in Kenya. He teaches and mentors youth about climate change and planting trees in Rwanda and has worked with international Non-Governmental Organizations and the United Nations Development Programme in Niger and Senegal to assess the effectiveness of programs in economic development, community self-reliance and resilience, education, security and peace building.
🇮🇪 Orla Farrell is a teacher from Ireland who studied Linguistics, French, Education, Public Administration and Business. She created the non-profit Easy Treesie and has already overseen the planting of 200,000 trees on her way to planting 1 million trees in Ireland by 2023 all while teaching children about climate change and how to have fun while working to protect their future. She was selected as one of Ireland’s top 50 social entrepreneurs.
🇭🇹 Julio Forges is from Haiti and an agriculturalist and specialist in natural resources and ecological management who works with vulnerable families. He is a community organizer who empowers young people to plant trees, grow crops, and address a variety of environmental problems.
🇹🇬 Mensa Tsedze is a young biologist from Togo passionate about biodiversity conservation and sustainable governance. He joined Earth Guardians in 2013 and in December 2020 became a Regional Program Co-Director for Africa. He has conducted studies on renewable energies, the implementation of the Paris Accord, and green entrepreneurship.
🇰🇪 David Oyagah from Kenya is working on his degree in community development while serving as a program coordinator for Kenya with Plant-for-the-Planet. He is a community organizer with Kijani Forests for Change who has also been working to develop sugar cane as a crop, fundraise for and distribute solar lanterns, and, seeing the need of widows to have a mattress to sleep upon, lends his skills to bringing these women the gift of a good night sleep.
Don’t miss out. Register now!
Then, for an easy way to keep up on what we’re doing and help us get the word out to your friends:
a) Follow this blog,
b) Like our Climate Change Recovery Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClimateChangeRecovery/, and
d) Visit Pam Vergun’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pam.vergun
e) Follow our Instagram accounts:
For now, Facebook and Instagram are your best bet for the most recent updates.
A special welcome to everyone visiting our site who we met at the Green Schools Conference & Expo!
If you received a tree pledge sheet like the one immediately below, please do complete it and email it to us or post it to our Facebook or Instagram pages!
Stay tuned for more YAE Trainings: Pennsylvania? Washington? Oregon? California, or somewhere else?
Contact us to help us get it scheduled near you!
To inspire and help carry out policies to minimize the climate crisis and create climate justice—so that the crisis does not so severely impact us all.
🌳Support youth in becoming Youth Climate Leaders
🌳Actively connect families, governmental bodies, and other organizations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create supportive networks, and try to restore our Earth.
The Way We Do It
Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE) organizes free one-day trainings by youth for all youth in grades 4-12 to develop their ability to work for justice and a safer climate. Students learn about the science and social effects of Climate Change and develop their public speaking skills in order to work with elected officials and others to try to stop and recover from Climate Change. We also support parents around the challenges of parenting in this difficult time and with helping their families be active in this struggle. After the training, youth and families gather together in YAE Teams and engage in a variety of efforts together.
Climate Change Recovery works with key environmental nonprofits and is working to bring Youth Acting for Our Earth (YAE) to more areas in order to support youth training other youth in Climate Science and Climate Justice! Our key environmental nonprofit partners include Our Children’s Trust, Climate Realty Project, 350.org, Plant-for-the-Planet, Sierra Club, and Climate Change for Families. We have a diverse set of other partners as well, from governmental representatives and bodies to faith groups.
Join us as a partner and host
The cost of hosting is moderate and within the reach of most congregations and PTAs, involving only some compensation for our community organizer’s time, covering food for the students and volunteers the day of the training, providing space in which to hold the training, and covering some moderate photocopying costs. Your help with feeding our hardworking students for the day will be much appreciated; local business will help with this through donating food.
Please contact Pam at vergun@ alumni.stanford.edu if you would like to support a training in your city or state.
Our Statement of Non-Discrimination and Equity
Climate Change Recovery and Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE!) recognize the importance and value of all people; we were founded based on a deep understanding of this and so have a policy against discrimination or harassment based on ethnicity (race), skin color, country of origin or citizenship, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, religion, family status, marital status, mental or physical ability, or age in everything we do.
We arrange for our youth and parents to be invited as speakers and facilitators for organizations around the U.S.
Climate Justice Ambassador Miko Vergun is Giving Presentations on the U.S. Nuclear Legacy and Climate Change in the Marshall Islands—
Invite her to speak at your organization!
Interviewed for an in-depth piece on KBOO Community Radio about her presentations at the International School of Beaverton and the Jewish Renewal congregation P’nai Or of Portland, Miko is working to raise awareness about the U.S. nuclear testing—and continued military presence—in the Marshall Islands, as well as the impact of the mostly-U.S.-induced Climate Change in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and elsewhere. For more information, check out the flyer from her April 1, 2017 presentation sponsored by P’nai Or.
Miko is a Co-Founder of YAE and a key Youth Climate Leader with us, a Climate Justice Ambassador with Plant-for-the-Planet elected as the Global Youth Board Representative for North America and Oceania. She participated in the Plant-for-the-Planet Youth Summit in October-November 2016 in Augsburg, Germany. Miko served as a Teen Board Member of the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation (OJCYF) and was honored by the Oregon Marshallese Community (OMC), REACH-MI (Radiation Exposure Awareness Crusaders for Humanity—Marshall Islands), and MEI (the Marshallese Education Institute) for contributing to the Marshallese community at the 2016 Nuclear Legacy Summit. She is one of the 21 Climate Kids–a plaintiff in the federal Climate Change lawsuit Juliana vs. U.S. through the help of Our Children’s Trust.
Contact email@example.com to schedule a presentation by Miko, Isaac, or one of our other youth or adult leaders.
Donate to this Work!
To donate to the work of Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE), please contact Dr. Pam Vergun, MPA directly at vergun @alumni.stanford.edu. Though donations to YAE are not tax-deductible due to our not having had time to obtain a 501c3 status, focusing for now on a not-for-profit consulting approach for the work we do, we assure you that your donation will be well used to enable us to help youth train other youth about the Climate Crisis. We are very willing to work with interested donors to ensure that your donation supports our work in a clearly identifiable way. Thank you!
Want ideas and gifts that will really make a difference?
Check out these book appropriate for everyone—students, non-parents, and parents:
Our work appeared in the magazine Oregon Jewish Life in an article highlighting Isaac’s Bar Mitzvah Project! Do check it out: Bar Mitzvah Pursues Climate Recovery.
What is a Bar or Bat or B’nei Mitzvah and why is this on a site about Climate Change?
More on this later, but briefly, the phrases are ways of referring to “Children of the Commandments”, and in Jewish tradition, when a child takes on many of the responsibilities of an adult at about age 13, they are expected to do “Mitzvah”, which are “commandments”, sometimes called “good deeds”.
This site grew out of our family’s work as Miko and Isaac started working on their B’nei Mitzvah Projects to help protect our planet with the help of their Mom, Pam, and their Dad, Robert Vergun. We will be getting more up on this site soon on how we have been working in Oregon and neighboring areas to help stop Climate Change, but in the meantime you’ll find most of what you need at the following two sites.
So, what are the four coolest—and likely most effective—nonprofits working on Climate Change and Recovery?
Our votes are for:
Thanks to volunteering with 350.org and 350PDX, luck, and two friends, we are delighted on October 12, 2015, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to be joining many others in Portland in welcoming Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis to the first Portland screening of This Changes Everything at the Hollywood Theater! Thank you, Harriet Cooke and Robert Vergun for your volunteer fundraising with 350PDX that won us the tickets!
Isaac is continuing to work with 350.org’s Fossil Free and the City of Beaverton on the campaign to have them fully Divest from Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power. Wherever you live, please sign Isaac’s petition:
Our Children’s Trust!
Our Children’s Trust is a dedicated legal team devoted to protecting our Planet, our children and communities, and our future generations through applying legal principals so that governments and other entities will act regarding Climate Change as they should. Remember Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court Ruling that pointed out what now should seem obvious—that segregated schools are not equal?
Well, if we have a right to education, surely we have a right to a Planet in good shape. The rights to life, liberty, property (and to the pursuit of happiness) depend upon a safe and functioning global ecosystem.
So, follow Our Children’s Trust and the cases they are working on all over, especially our Federal lawsuit, Kelsey Juliana et al. v. United States. Please consider donating to this effort! Here’s a glimpse of some of the 21 youth plaintiffs—which include Miko and Isaac:
Please ask your local and internet media to carry more stories about these lawsuits and about the urgency of addressing Climate Change.
In early September 2015, Climate Change for Families was chosen as the newest Tzedakah Partner by P’nai Or of Portland! (Tzedakah means Justice.) Thank you, P’nai Or, for your support!
Want to know more about the first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Oregon? You can find information about it here:
More information about Plant-for-the-Planet and Climate Change for Families, which was founded by Michael Foster and started Plant-for-the-Planet in the U.S., can be found here: http://climatechangeforfamilies.com.
Our Climate (formerly Oregon Climate)