Having had an opportunity to be part of the 2015 Faith Leaders Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) organized by the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI), it was a very huge step in my eco-justice journey and for CYNESA Zambia at large. Various issues affecting our environment ware broadly shared. SADC faith leaders represented at this training strongly believe that there is still hope to restore our earth and probably restore it to full normality.
The training was individually enlightening because it gave me a broader and clearer understanding of various environmental injustices upon Mother Earth from a SADC and global perspective. Evidently, the future of our children will be destroyed unless we decide to act soon. In other words, we are all interdependent on each other; we need each other to win this big fight ahead of us. As people of faith caring for God’s creation,this is not optional; it should be,and is, part and parcel of us.
As a young Christian brought up to show compassion to my fellow brothers and sisters, I strongly feel that its morally upright to equally show compassion for God’s creation,believing that there is still hope to rescue the earth we all live in.It only takes us to build a sense of community and change the way we respond to issues that are affecting the environment negatively. Taking up roles and responsibilities in our various countries will be essential in lobbying decision-makers to take corrective action in matters of the environmental protection and conserving it while putting aside personal economic gains at the expense of our environments. Therefore, I am convinced that it is my duty and a duty of every faith leader to foster the realization in our various communities that we are all part of the earth and we have to care for it.
As Pope Francis put it in his message in Santa,caring for creation is not only for environmentalists but for everyone, because whoever does not care for the environment doesnot care for Gods first creation.” Therefore, everyone is called upon to take action regardless of their religious background by making use of our similarities more than our differences.
Agness Shikabi, the Country Director for the Zambian Chapter of the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA).