Efforts to promote the Catholic Climate Petition intensified as the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), widened its net to collect signatures in Southern Africa.
The team composed of Allen Ottaro, Kelly Ngeti, Lilian Samson and David Munene arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe on the evening of 24thSeptember 2015.
Thereafter, the team met Magis members at Arrupe Jesuit College to popularize the petition after a public lecture on the encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. Magis is a young adults’ program offered by the Jesuits, in the footsteps of their founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, to deepen their spirituality, enhance their sense of companionship and challenge them to greater service to those most in need.
The Country Director of CYNESA Zambia, Agness Shikabi, joined the team for a Faith Leaders’ Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) program, organized and facilitated by the Southern Africa Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI), from 28th September to 1st October. The FLEAT program greatly enriched the team’s perspectives on enhancing advocacy in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, later this year.
Soon after the conclusion of the FLEAT program, while Agness and David boarded their flights back to Lusaka and Nairobi respectively, the trio of Lilian, Kelly and Allen were a few hours into their 18-hour bus ride to Gaborone, Botswana!.
The trip had been inspired by an invitation from John Khasindu, a Kenyan and CYNESA team member who now lives and works in the southern Africa. John had made adequate arrangements for the promotion of the Catholic Climate petition at Our Lady of the Rosary parish.
It was providential that our arrival coincided with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Sunday 4th October, setting the stage for the team to speak to the congregants after the Mass, sharing with them the message of ‘Laudato Si’, and offering them the opportunity to sign the petition as one concrete way of putting it into action.
Young and old responded with great enthusiasm in signing the petition, moments which were captured beautifully in pictures.
We thank our hosts in Bostwana, Fr. Wilbroad (Parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary), John Khasindu, the youth group and all parishioners for their hospitality during our time there, and we look forward to a return visit!.
Coast Region Coordinator, CYNESA Kenya Chapter.