Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) is a youth-led social and environmental journalism initiative which supports our youth to take a stand for their local surroundings by highlighting injustices, issues and best practices through the mediums of writing, photography and videos.

YRE is an international education for sustainable development programme implemented in 34 countries across the world to create a global network of passionate young people changing the status quo through engaging and creative socio-ecological journalism. Starting with young people wanting to fully understand the issue of ozone depletion to report it to widest possible audience in real time, YRE was officially launched as an education programme by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE – www.fee.global) in 1994. South Africa, represented by WESSA (wessa.org.za) as the endorsed YRE National Operator, joined the global network as the third African country after Ghana and Morocco.  WESSA YRE engages with youth between the ages of 11 – 25 to develop their skills and knowledge about issues that directly affect their community and enhance critical thinking, leadership, communication, social responsibility, data analysis and teamwork skills.   

WESSA YRE believes that creating a productive space for our South African youth to express how they would reimagine and craft a sustainable and environmentally just future, is key to an inclusive approach at all levels, for people caring for our earth.  Our South African youth are known for their power to influence change, and through WESSA YRE they can change mindsets and influence behaviour, while developing skills to make a positive contribution to an equal and sustainable South Africa.

Connecting with our international YRE network, WESSA YRE will run an annual ‘developing stories’ competition where young reporters across South Africa will submit their articles, photographs and videos. The winners of the annual national competition will advance to the YRE International Competition which takes place every April, to represent South Africa and WESSA YRE.

Our youth are already citizen journalists on their social media platforms, let’s help them report on the things that will make a difference!