The Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), is well represented at the 31st edition of the World Youth Days (WYD), which officially starts on the 25th July, in Krakow, Poland.
Team members from Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Burundi will be running the ‘Africa Pavilion’, as part of the Laudato Si’ Eco-Youth Festival Program, being offered by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), in partnership with REFA, the Franciscan Ecology association based in Krakow. The program runs from the 26th to the 29th July, at Park Krowoderski (Laudato Si’ Eco-Village) in Krakow, and is officially part of the WYD Youth Festival events.
The planning of the event has been coordinated by GCCM’s working group for the WYD, led by our Executive Director, Allen Ottaro and the Coordinator of the Ecology Ministry at the Archdiocese of Manila, Lou Arsenio.
Already CYNESA has exhibited and engaged with over 2000 pilgrims in the city of Lodz, where the Jesuit-led, Ignatian pre-WYD program, MAGiS2016 had its opening gathering, 15th -17th July. Our presence there offered pilgrims “a taste of what is to come” in Krakow in a week’s time. The Laudato Si’ Eco-Youth festival program will include workshops on different ecological themes, a training on the encyclical Laudato Si’, a concert featuring young artistes from various countries, a green sacred space where pilgrims can pray and meditate in nature, and an exhibition area.
The program offers CYNESA the chance to speak with pilgrims from all over the world about ecological concerns in Africa, but also showcase Africa’s rich natural heritage. During his visit to the United Nations offices in Nairobi, in November 2015, Pope Francis noted that “Africa offers the world a beauty and natural richness which inspire praise of the Creator. This patrimony of Africa and of all mankind is constantly exposed to the risk of destruction caused by human selfishness of every type and by the abuse of situations of poverty and exclusion.”
Pope Francis will officially conclude WYD2016 with Mass on the 31st of July, during which he will also announce the year and host country of the next World Youth Day.
CYNESA warmly welcomes all WYD2016 pilgrims to the Laudato Si’ Eco-Village.