During their 4-day visit to Botswana, Kelly Ngeti (CYNESA Kenya), Lilian Samson (CYNESA Tanzania) and Allen Ottaro (CYNESA Executive Director) had the opportunity to meet the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Gaborone, His Lordship Rt. Rev. Valentine Tsamma Seane.
The team introduced the mission of CYNESA and shared some of CYNESA’s recent initiatives, such as creating awareness about Pope Francis’ encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’, and the Catholic Climate Petition. Bishop Seane was impressed to learn about CYNESA’s work, mentioning that putting ‘Laudato Si’ into action is an important mission of everyone, and especially Catholics. He went on to highlight the fact that Botswana is a dry country and has been enduring long periods of drought. On the 27th of September, he had led faithful from his diocese in celebrating Mass at the Gaborone dam to pray for rain. The dam is also the site where the first Catholic Church in Botswana was built in 1928, and where the altar still stands.
Bishop Seane suggested that CYNESA makes contact with the Youth Chaplain, to explore how best to engage young people in the diocese in the work of CYNESA, including possibly setting up a local CYNESA chapter.
The CYNESA team had already met with the young people at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Thamaga, who expressed the desire to discover and learn how the Church was inviting them to live out their ecological vocation.
The parish priest, Fr. Wilbroad, said that young people have already shown leadership in the parish life, adding that their engagement with CYNESA would echo Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’, that “young people have a new ecological sensitivity and a generous spirit, and some of them are making admirable efforts to protect the environment.”
CYNESA now looks forward to working with the young people in Botswana and enhancing our presence and mission in the Southern Africa region, which already includes Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and thanks to Bishop Seane for his willingness to engage with us!
Founding Executive Director, CYNESA.