CYNESA in South Africa

Sowing the Seeds of CYNESA South Africa

As the CoP17 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) meeting, took a two-day break after 7 straight days of sittings, the CYNESA team embarked on an important mission. That of sowing the seeds of a CYNESA Chapter in South Africa.

CYNESA at Radio Veritas South AfricaOn Friday, 30th September, Radio Veritas, the Catholic Radio in South Africa, hosted Tafara (Zimbabwe), Lombiwe (Zambia), Eliaichi (Tanzania), Roselyne and Allen (Kenya). 

Fr. Emil Blaser, OP, interviewed Tafara and Allen, on his morning ‘Matin’ program, about the motivation to start CYNESA, and the importance of young Catholics responding to the encyclical Laudato Si’, on care for our common home. The duo explained how they established contact via the internet, using it as a medium to share ideas and promote a shared vision.

CYNESA in South AfricaAll 5 team members were also interviewed on the evening Youth Wise program, hosted by Reabetswe and Akona. They used the opportunity to reach out to young Catholics in South Africa, inviting them to a networking workshop on October 1st. They also took time to explain the proceedings of the CoP17 CITES meeting, and how young Catholics in South Africa could join CYNESA.

The CYNESA team was the guest of the Justice and Peace department of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. Mr. Joseph Dube and Mrs. Ndivile Mokoena received the team at the Chancery of the Archdiocese inviting them to share about the mission of CYNESA, with young people drawn from several deaneries.

CYNESA in South Africa

The audience turned out to be most enthusiastic and engaging, not only posing challenging questions about youth participation in Church activities, but also sharing their own perspectives and experiences of working on environmental concerns in their communities.

CYNESA team members shared how they are organized in their particular countries, as well as their activities tailored to specific context, but also those shared across the national chapters. They expressed their hope and desire for CYNESA to take root in South Africa.

Mr. Dube and Mrs. Mokoena pledged the support of the Justice and Peace department, and challenged the youth present to submit their ideas of how they would like to move forward in establishing a CYNESA chapter. 

CYNESA in South AfricaOne of the participants, then closed the meeting with a brilliant piece of music accompanied by drum beats. 

The seeds of CYNESA SA have been sown. It is now time to nurture them to grow. Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika!



Allen Ottaro - Catholic Youth Network For Environmental Sustainability In Africa (CYNESA)


Written By:

Allen Ottaro,

Founding Executive Director, CYNESA.


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