The parish of Saint Rita, Pumbu City / Kinshasa, hosted an ecological and entrepreneurial formation of young people, on the theme: “Ecological promotion and the fight against poverty in D. R. Congo”, 27th to 29th December 2019.
Organized by the Claretian Coordination of Youth Pastoral, with the assistance of the Environmentalists Without Borders; Friends of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claret, this event aimed at forming a group of people who are passionate about the environment; people capable of acting, of committing themselves to sustainable ecological development. The training brought together youth associations, students and all those working in the field of the environment and green entrepreneurship.
Fr. Rodolphe Mukusa, CMF, Professor at the University of Kinshasa, presented the theoretical paradigm on ecology according to Pope Francis in Laudato Si, and the food crops of the DRC according to Cardinal Monsengwo. The presentation focused on the relationship between man and nature. In examining this relationship, Fr. Mukusa concluded that there is a strong evolution, and that the evolution of mankind has for decades led to the environmental problems we experience in the world today. “We are all witnessing the consequences of man’s actions on the extent of the earth. Whether locally or internationally, we are witnessing the loss of biodiversity, climatic disturbances and pollution”, Fr. Mukusa explained.
He posed the question: Are all these consequences caused by a lack of consciousness and capitalism? What is behind the current ecological crisis that the world is going through?
Fr. Mukusa discussed that faced with this situation, Pope Francis provides some elements of response in Laudato Si’. The Pope invites us towards an “ecological conversion”. This means changing our direction and adopting responsible behaviour and a strong commitment to the care of our planet. His Eminence Cardinal Monsengwo, who proposes food crops adapted to each province and encourages young people to take action by practising agriculture, also encourages this conversion.
Ms. Françoise, an ecologist and green entrepreneurship mentor, motivated participants to become aware of economic activities, technologies, products and services that limit greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the ecological footprint, minimize pollution and save resources. She pointed out that it is a question of valuing local knowledge, know-how, and above all advocating for the consumption of local products, which brings us back to the trajectory of sustainable development that benefits the local in ecological innovation.
Professor Jos Ndelo, Honorary Rector of UNIKIN, made a presentation on ecology and pharmaceutical sciences. The central question was why do human beings get sick? Along his presentation, the professor demonstrated that 95% of diseases in humans originate from our environment. This can be explained by the lack of a careful relationship between man and ecology. Man has become destructive of his own environment!
It was therefore recommended that we should become more aware and sensitize ourselves to the dangers of our daily routine in our lives. We must live in harmony with our environment and value indigenous knowledge.
After the presentations, participants were invited to a group work session, marked by a series of exchanges and sharing of experiences on our daily lives, in relation to the ecological crisis that is currently eating away at the world.
Taking the floor, it was an opportunity for us to present the Catholic Youth Network for a Sustainable Environment in Africa (CYNESA) and the actions that the network is carrying out but especially its desire for expansion. We are more committed to taking action by providing environmental education, training and awareness on climate change and environmental management and conservation in the city of Kinshasa and throughout the country. We have strongly encouraged other young people to take action every day and in the environment in which they find themselves in order to strengthen the protection of the natural environment and to be practitioners and influencers of sustainable practices for the protection of our direct environment.
Proposals for ecological initiatives in the field of the environment have been made and adopted by some young people, who will benefit from our guide and support in their projects. Guiding and encouraging Congolese youth in the promotion of ecological initiatives is one of the surest ways to minimize poverty, mitigate the impact of climate change and ultimately take care of our common home, planet earth.
CYNESA- DR Congo.