Change-Maker From Canada
Last year, 14-year-old Kiera Hui won a silver medal in the Canada-Wide Science Fair for finding an alternative way to clean up oil spills and reduce waste.
age 14, Kiera Hui wants to create a cleaner world for her generation. And she’s off to a great start. For her eighth grade science project, she developed a plan to better protect the environment. Her project made it to the Toronto Science Fair last year – it then went on to compete in the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Her experiment? An alternative way to clean up oil spills and reduce waste.
Kiera attends Spring Garden Baptist Church in Toronto with her family. Her love for God’s creation and science inspired her to dig deeper to find an innovative way to conserve the environment.
“When I researched oil spills, many methods used harmful chemicals or released carbon dioxide into the environment, adding to global warming,” she says. “Many previous projects looked at cotton fibres compared to sawdust or other products, and cotton always seemed best.”
Kiera found that recycled cotton textile cloths could absorb oil without retaining the water – performing better than cotton balls, which absorbs the water along with the oil. Since 85 percent of textiles end up in landfills, using discarded cotton garments addresses two environmental issues at once: waste reduction and mitigating pollution. According to the United Nations, over half a million children under the age of five die from air-pollution-related causes every year.
Her experiment was one that wasn’t easy to prove, but her perseverance won her a silver medal in the Canada-Wide Science Fair held in Fredericton last May. Through her experiment, Kiera also discovered that oil-soaked cloths could be repurposed as igniters, pending further research. In the future, she wants to find a way to reduce soap and laundry detergent use, which could help increase algae blooms in lake water.
Although Kiera travelled to a different province to showcase her successful project, Kiera knows she doesn’t need to go far to spark change. “My hope for the world is for a cleaner environment for our generation,” she says. “Our world is constantly being challenged, and despite all that we know to conserve and reuse, very few people actually do it. I hope to be an example to others by being innovative and bringing big ideas to fruition; I also hope other youth will express their ideas to the public and know that it is a true possibility for it to become a reality.”
by Kristine Brackman
hirty-year-old Emmanuel Cyzia from Kigali, Rwanda, is passionate about engaging youth in peace and community development initiatives. Emmanuel has experienced first-hand the result of violence and hatred. At the age of five, he witnessed the genocide rip through this country. “I recall a few things … I knew something bad was happening. When we were running away, I saw people crying in the street … people killing.” Despite having to flee for safety, through God’s grace Emmanuel and his family survived.
During his troubled teens years, Emmanuel was invited to attend a peace camp held by CBM’s partner, the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda, and it changed the course of his life. “It was very impactful. We heard about servant leadership and teamwork and ways to bring peace in society, to be a catalyst wherever God has placed you … and we had opportunity to share our talents and discover new skills. I created a peace song that my [church] choir still sings during our annual commemoration of the genocide every April.”
After graduating from secondary school, Emmanuel started Bible clubs and peace clubs among children and youth in neighbourhoods and schools. In 2017, concerned by the high rate of drug use, teen pregnancies and sexual immorality that he saw among youth, he adapted a former church crusade called HIG – Hunga Irari rya Gasore (“Flee from Youthful Passions,” 2 Timothy 2:22) – into an annual camp to mentor, train and encourage youth to set a biblical foundation to guide them in life. “I was able to disciple new young leaders, and now it is so wonderful to see that they are the ones organizing the camp, under my assistance.”
Through Emmanuel’s church, he is now serving across the country, training pastors and leaders from different churches in discipleship and leadership. He has also helped to lead evangelism campaigns in schools and villages, and community compassion efforts – such as repairing the homes of poor widows – with teams of youth from his church. “I am so thankful that God allowed me to raise up other people, and to engage them in youth ministry.”
by Laurena Zondo
Change-Maker From Rwanda
Pictured at the first peace camp in 2010, Emmanuel and some of his new friends practise a peace song for talent night. He was inspired to write the song at camp. Today, his church choir continues to sing his peace song during the annual Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi.