CYNESA’s Mission is to help young Catholics in sub-Saharan Africa – their movements and communities, individually and with their colleagues – to respond to the twin challenges of environmental degradation and climate change in an effective, coordinated and evangelical manner, culturally sensitive and spiritually grounded. Its mission is to link young Catholics together with colleagues in mutual encouragement and support.
1. Effective : CYNESA aims to create core teams of young Catholic leaders in each country, appreciating what Catholic youth are doing and making these efforts known, strengthening initiatives already underway, and helping potential programs to get off the ground.
“Today the ecological crisis has assumed such proportions as to be the responsibility of everyone…. Its various aspects demonstrate the need for concerted efforts aimed at establishing uties and obligations that belong to individuals, peoples, states, and the international community.” –Pope John Paul II
2. Coordinated in mutual encouragement and support, working not individualistically but as a body, taking advantage of social media to communicate and give shape to this initiative. As in any network, communications is CYNESA’s nervous system and its blood supply too. With Catholic youth scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, communications are vital capillary and nervous systems which help bind us into one body. CYNESA encourages those involved and links them together step-by-step in an active continental network with its own voice and capacity to act and advocate in coordination.
3. Evangelical: As God’s children, we have a special responsibility toward each other and the rest of Creation. Nature is our sister. As responsible stewards and co-workers with Christ, we are part of Creation, not separate from it. We must demonstrate the meaning of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection in our treatment of Creation. We are to begin the process of properly conserving, developing, and restoring Creation, a process that will be completed by God – the Creator (Father), Redeemer (Son), and Sanctifier (Holy Spirit) of the whole Universe.
“For the mystery of the Incarnation of God is the salvation of the whole of Creation.” ~ St. Ambrose (about 339-397).
4. Culturally sensitive: Globalized culture is obviously imposing itself on Africa with irresistible orce, manifesting itself through consumerism and individualism. African indigenous knowledge on the environment has guided communities over many generations in making environmentally sound choices. This knowledge needs to be integrated in current responses, and must not be allowed to erode in the face of globalization. CYNESA aims to make its contribution by engineering its responses in a way which is sensitive to local culture, faith and spirituality, and which works side by side with other agencies in the field, especially within the Church.
5. Spiritually grounded: An ongoing formation of moral conscience and discernment for making difficult choices according to Gospel and Church teaching, is a main pillar in CYNESA’s approach to the environmental crisis. Our relationship with Christ is fundamental in walking the path of social responsibility and responsibility for creation. Such fidelity is the “guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development.”