There is good reason for worry in the face of climate chaos. Between the Amazon burning, 12.5 billion tons of ice melting in a single day in early August, and countless other visible signs, there can no longer be any doubt about when climate change will arrive. It is here.

But worry, inevitable as it may be, is not productive. We must look for signs of hope, and we must invest in the changes that can mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. At Coffee Kids, we see young farmers as those signs of hope, and we are giving them the tools to mitigate climate impact on their own farms and in their own communities.

Greta Thunberg is something of a hero to those of us here at Coffee Kids. We find her inspiring not because of her words (though those are powerful too) but because of her actions.  

When Greta began the School Strike for Climate, she was all alone, sitting quietly but purposefully outside the Swedish parliament. Rather than waiting for other students to join her, Greta took her own action. She knew was right, and she believed that if she stayed resolute, others would follow her example. At the September Climate Strike events, more than four million people across 150 countries joined her.

We see a little bit of Greta in every one of our Coffee Kids participants.

They aren’t talking about the changes that will be needed on farms to adjust to changing moisture levels and temperatures, they’re making those changes and showing older farmers how to do the same. Implementing these techniques is not always easy, but it is the only way to protect the future of these operations as the environment changes.

Coffee Kids participants aren’t moving off to the city, wistful about leaving the farm behind. They are making the changes to the business model, and taking risks on supplementary income businesses as well, to ensure that coffee growing can produce a family-sustaining income. And they’re teaching the next generation of farmers what it will take to thrive within a global coffee economy.

In the face of a changing world, Coffee Kids participants are leading by doing. It’s up to all of us to watch, listen, and learn.