Nigerian Female Who Chose Not To Have A Child

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Ayomide Olude (Right).

LAGOS, Nigeria – Mediaage NG News – 24-year-old Ayomide Olude, who works for a sustainability NGO in Nigeria, said the experience of filming a documentary in a coastal fishing community last year strengthened her determination never to have a child.

Residents of Folu, 100km east of Lagos, showed her a pier that had been used in the past to have fun by the sea, almost all of which was already under water.

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“During storm surges the flood water now reaches quite deep into the village, so people are now leaving their houses. This was where there was a real-estate boom in the past but now you see abandoned houses and some parts of the village are already under water”, Ayomide said.

Fishermen told her their job was now unsafe, because storms had become so intense.

Ayomide said she often hears young Nigerians discuss their anxieties in a “climate café” she runs in Ogun state, north of Lagos, a setting where people are encouraged to share what they know and feel about climate change. The experience in Folu sharpened her own concerns.

Like Julia in Brazil, she faces pressure from society and her family to have children, but says nothing will persuade her to change her mind.

Julia Borges’ worries about climate change intensified during the first months of the pandemic, when she and others were in isolation, alone with their thoughts.

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“I started to picture my city and my university under water,” says the 23-year-old agriculture and engineering student from Recife, on Brazil’s north-eastern coast, Julia said.

MediaageNG Nigerian Female Who Chose Not To Have A Child LAGOS, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - 24-year-old Ayomide Olude, who works for a sustainability NGO in Nigeria, said the experience of filming a documentary in a coastal fishing community last year strengthened her determination never to have a child.
Julia Borges’ worries about climate change intensified during the first months of the pandemic, when she and others were in isolation, alone with their thoughts.

“I started to have anxiety crises, to the point of thinking about giving up on my own life, because I didn’t know how to deal with it all”, she added.

Taking a course in climate leadership was little help – it only increased her feeling of responsibility for what was happening. She soon came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be right to have a child.

“I cannot see myself as responsible for the life of another human being, for generating a new life that would become another burden to a planet that is so overloaded already,” Julia says.

“In a society where women barely have the power to decide, and where there are religious beliefs that one should have kids, it takes considerable strength and determination to say this in public,” she says.

“My parents are upset, and we don’t talk about it much. I try not to think about it. Although, I feel sad for them.”

All two women said their partners support their decisions.

University of Bath psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, the lead author of the 2021 Lancet study, argues that climate anxiety is a healthy response to the climate crisis.

She advises anyone experiencing it to make contact with others who feel the same way, and to collaborate with them on practical steps to address the crisis.

“These difficulties are not going away, so we need to learn how to face them.”

Julia has taken this path. She has helped map areas vulnerable to flooding and landslides, and works for a local NGO that educates people about the climate and the environment.

“What helped me release some of that anxiety was to become an agent of change and transformation in my community,” she says.

Nonetheless, her worries remain.

“I can still feel that despair, but I’ve been working on it with my therapist – and it helps to talk about it”.

Additional Reporting From The BBC.

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