María Marshall

“No matter how old you are, you can make a real change on big issues like the climate crisis”

My name is Maria, I live in the Christ Church area in Barbados, and some time ago I created the project “Little thoughts on Big Matters”, focused on protecting the environment.

My story

I live in a quiet community that prides itself on keeping the neighborhood clean. What I love about living here are the trees, the flowers and the beach, one of the places that I missed the most when we were locked up at home.

I believe that as children and youth we deserve to have a voice on the important issues that affect us. That is why I created “Little thoughts on Big Matters” to help combat climate change in the world, protect our species and tell others like me that our opinion on the subject does matter.

In 2019 I presented a video about my environmental project at the Barbados National Independence Creative Arts Festival and I won third place! Thanks to that, I became the youngest film director in the country to be awarded.

In my family I have always been taught the importance of taking care of my environment and the need to recycle, reuse and repair. My dad is my biggest role model when it comes to activism. He is part of the Blue Green Initiative, a group that works for nature protection, and he has taught me how valuable the environment is to us and how we are destroying it.

My present

Even though homeschooling was challenging, because it was new to me and it’s easier to be able to ask the teacher a question face to face, I was able to complete my exams well. Now we do a combination of face-to-face classes and online classes. Anyway, I miss being with my friends without a mask and without social distancing.

My project also had to be stopped and that disappointed me at first. But I think that part of my initiative, which consists of growing my own food, is especially beneficial in a pandemic, when food is scarce.

My future

I am an animal lover, so when I finish school, I would like to continue my activism and work with those who need help the most. I think we must take care of native species in Barbados, especially those that are endemic. We must protect them, because we don’t have many.

I also want to continue developing my project and use social networks to spread my message: Boys, girls and adolescents can impact their own lives and those of others. No matter how old you are or whether or not you have financial or political resources, you can make a real change on big issues like the climate crisis.