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Johanna: “We could use our voice to do more against climate change”


We must give the environment better protection for the sake of future generations. Politicians need to get this message into their heads and invest more in combating climate change. My family are already doing their bit. We have no car, and a proportion of our electricity comes from the solar panels on our roof. The fact that we travel to Finland almost every summer is less environmentally friendly. We have friends whom we visit over there. My grandmother is Finnish. I learned the language from my father. By the way, Finnish has no female or male pronouns. I like that. Languages should be all-inclusive, regardless of gender. I try to use gender-neutral language whenever I speak or write in German. But doing that should be a given anyway. I have not yet made up my mind about what I want to do when I leave school. I am interested in the media. Maybe I will work as a presenter.

Switzerland’s national and cantonal elections have been part of our history lessons at school. Our teacher has always stressed how important it is to vote and how privileged we are in Switzerland to be able to do so. This has made me more interested in politics. I always ask my parents about how they are going to vote. Social media is one of the ways in which I keep track of the latest issues. I think it would be good if younger people could vote. We could then use our voice to do more against climate change. Lowering the voting age to 16 would also make us feel integrated in society. After all, Switzerland’s population is getting older. All portions of society should have a political voice. That includes people with physical or mental health issues.

I spend a lot of my free time outdoors. I regularly take our dog, Lupin, for walks. He is a toller who was born a year ago and still needs quite a bit of training. I often walk him with other girls who also have dogs. I like to read and I am interested in languages – I can imagine doing a semester abroad one day. Music plays an important role in my everyday life. I listen to various genres, play the violin, and sing in a choir. Another thing I would like to say is that schools need to do more to educate children about same-sex relationships.”

Interview by Eveline Rutz

Johanna Ruoff

Born in 2005, living in Brugg (canton of Aargau), and a student at the cantonal school in Baden. Johanna enjoys reading, plays the violin, and goes on regular walks with family dog Lupin.

The portraits of all 16 young people interviewed