On the final day of 2015, the CYNESA Tanzania chapter mobilized its members and young people from the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam for a clean-up activity, and later joined hundreds of youth in an annual Mass, both events taking place at the beach!.
The activities re-affirmed the role of young people in care of creation, as stated by Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si’, that “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and sufferings of the excluded.” (Laudato Si’, para.13). The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Titus Joseph Mdoe, the new Bishop of Mtwara (former auxiliary Bishop of Dar es Salaam). Bishop Mdoe was the first African bishop to endorse the Catholic Climate petition in 2015, sponsored by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), and promoted across the continent by CYNESA.
The beach as a location for both events was of tremendous significance, as Dar es Salaam is one of several African coastal cities, vulnerable to floods, sea level rise, coastal erosion and disease outbreak, as a consequence of climate change.
During the Mass, Bishop Mdoe hailed the mission of CYNESA in Tanzania, and invited the youth to join the network as a way of responding to their ecological vocation. In gratitude for his support and in recognition of his leadership in care of creation, CYNESA Tanzania members presented the Bishop with two framed photos, one showing him signing the Catholic Climate petition. CYNESA Tanzania hopes the framed photos will serve not only as a memoir, but also as a motivation for the Bishop to spread the message of environmental care, in his new diocese, and wherever he is missioned to in the future.
The event has cast CYNESA in positive light from the youths themselves, priests and other invited guests. While the Mass took place on a hot day, the CYNESA Tanzania team was in high spirits, and helped keep the beach venue litter-free, encouraging the youth attending the Mass to do the same as well, even though it was challenging in the beginning. The beach events were a highlight for us in 2015 and we look forward to do even more in 2016 year, in reaching out to many more youth.
CYNESA Tanzania wishes to recognize, thank and encourage youth leaders of the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam, and all those striving in countless ways to keep the beach clean a reality. It is our hope that, caring for creation becomes a way of life for the young people, in all our parishes and communities.
Media & Communications – CYNESA Tanzania.