Matilde Bondo Dydensborg, from Frederikssund, Denmark, has always liked to write. Since she was little she has created stories in her head. She started writing them down when she learned to spell. She had always kept these stories to herself and dreamed about being a writer. Dydensborg felt that she couldn’t be a writer but kept on writing and making up stories. One of her biggest personal challenges is getting past the frustrating feeling that she is too small to do anything. She sees a world disappearing right in front of her and feels she can't do anything about it. Her writing mainly takes the form of poems and short stories, and recently, her work has begun to examine more issues.

Climate changes inspired Dydensborg and she has started to focus on how she can change the way she lives. She started an environment council at my school with some friends. Their goal is to make the school sustainable and show other students that a climate-friendly lifestyle isn't that bad. They do this by creating projects that channel a climate-friendly way of living, things as simple and impactful as placing a box for recycling paper in the school. She says that writing and art affect us in a way that makes people pay more attention to the world they live in.

Writing is like space to Dydensborg, a universe of words and thoughts. She is excited to attend the Congress because she wants to meet people like herself. Dydensborg will continue writing and complete her dream of being a writer. She plans to change the world and stop living the damaging ways we do. Dydensborg says that even though she sometimes feels too small to affect change, she refuses to wait until she’s “old enough” or “smart enough.” She will start now.


Cycling Through My Home Town

by Matilde Bondo Dydensborg

I am cycling through my home town, trying to get away from the past. The memories from when all the unknown things were far in the future. All the houses and gardens look like prisons, but when I was young, it was the only places where I felt safe. I am slowing down, like I have been captured in a photograph hidden in the attic for way too long. My bike is a time machine, taking me back to when I was little, playing on the streets, imagining myself as an astronaut or a pilot flying over the undiscovered parts of the world. That time, when the only thing that could bring you down, was a scratch on your knee.

I am cycling towards the playground. A lonely swing swinging in the wind. I leave my bike in the grass. I walk towards the swing. I remember the feeling of flying up in the sky and your feet were touching the clouds. Only the fantasy made a picture of the real world, a world where worry isn’t a word, and where tomorrow would be an adventure. I jump off the swing; it’s time to move on. A tree as big as a tower reaches towards the sky. It seemed so big, but now I can touch the leaves. I notice it starts to rain. I am sitting under the tree, like I did when I was young. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a letter engraved in the bark. I let my fingers touch the cut, and clearly remember that day. The rain was pouring, I had just learned to read and spell my own name. I grab the memory and close my hand around it.

Once I thought this tree was the tallest tree in the world, and I imagined climbing to the very top of that tree. I imagined I could touch the stars and I could see the whole world. I guess the world changed when I climbed the tree for the very first time. Not everything you imagine is real, not everything you expected to be the truth was what you thought it would be like. I reach towards the first branch, climbing my way up to the very top. I remember this being the most dangerous excursion, but it only feels like a few seconds before I’m there. I let the rain drench my clothes. I think about how safe I was under the leaves, and now I’m wet and cold, wishing myself back to the dry spot, where flowers sprout. I’m just sitting here like I’m lonely on this big planet. I only thought the world was a few houses and a playground.