Elena: “I always try to form my own opinion”
When I am not at school or doing homework, I am usually out with my friends, or either reading or cooking. School is very important to me, and I am trying to get the best marks possible. I will be leaving school at the beginning of summer, after which I start an apprenticeship as a chemist. I want to get a good training and then ideally go and study – for which I will have to leave my home valley. After that, I will probably live in the city or even abroad. But I would like to return one day and live here again in the Lower Engadine.
My mother is involved in local politics. When my brother and I were younger, neither of us were interested. Now we notice how much we talk about politics at home, especially when there is a referendum around the corner. It has become quite exciting. The latest proposals – the initiative on pesticides and the initiative on clean drinking water – affected our family directly, because my parents run a farm. We had to make a podcast about these proposals at school, when we looked at the politics in detail. I always try to form my own opinion. While I think it would be great to be allowed to vote at 16, I also think the issues would be too complex for me. There are many things I really have no clue about! When you are 16, there are more important things than exercising your democratic duty. However, I would happily change our climate policies. We could do so many things better. I can very well envisage getting involved in politics one day. I don’t need to be Federal Councillor or anything like that.
Born in 2004, living in Tarasp in Lower Engadine (canton of Graubünden), and about to begin an apprenticeship as a chemist. Elena can well imagine going into politics.
The portraits of all 16 young people interviewed
- Anne: “I have the vote, so I want to use it”
- Jason: “I am a keen, effective, quick-witted debater”
- Johanna: “We could use our voice to do more against climate change”
- Kimmo: “I would like to sail around the world”
- Juliette: “The decisions that are made do affect the lives of young Swiss citizens”
- Lionel: “We need to create spaces for young people.”
- Yves: “I give my all playing football”
- Moritz: “I take responsibility for my decisions”
- Malin: “Missing a few hours of classroom time is a trifling matter in view of the climate crisis we face”
- Cléo: “Swiss politics? It’s a huge muddle for such a little country.”
- Olivia: “I want to add my voice to the fight against inequality”
- Noelia: “Sitting around at home is not really my thing”
- Lisa: “After all, it is our future at stake”
- Dejwana: “Switzerland? It’s better than Lebanon, where we struggled to be accepted”
- Elena: “I always try to form my own opinion”
- Valérie: “We should start with the little things in our own lives first”