On 8th July, 2017, the CYNESA Rwanda team had the pleasure to host the Executive Director of CYNESA. It was one day interactive training with the core team of Rwanda, all of whom were happy to receive the CYNESA Founder.
In the morning, we discussed about the Role of Youth in Environmental Conservation. First of all, the Executive Director showed us the definition of youth according to United Nations, African Union and Education. He said that 36.8% of Africa’s work force are youth and Africa is the youngest continent. After that he told us different international policies and what they say on youth. These policies said that the youth have to participate in the decision making because it affects their lives and their future. The participants were interested in these international policies. They took decisions to participate in the implementation of these policies by working as a network. They saw that also there are some challenges that they have to face but as young people from Africa we have to work together to overcome these challenges.
In the afternoon, the Executive Director of CYNESA gave the introduction on Laudato Si. He explained what is “Encyclical” which takes its name from Greek word for circle and it offers important guiding principles for the faithful to reflect on. He then explained the background of Laudato Si and what it says on young people. Here are some lines of Laudato Si which say something on young people: “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future, without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded”. (LS13) ”We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations.” (LS 53) “Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations.” (LS 67) “Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.” (LS 159)
The Executive Director of CYNESA continued with the explanation of the mission of CYNESA and gave also news of the network. He said that the mission of CYNESA took its source in St John Paul II 1990’s message for World Day of Peace, in which he called for the need to upscale ecological awareness and to find fitting expression in concrete programs and initiatives. He said also that with Laudato Si the young Catholics especially CYNESA members have much to do because this encyclical confirms them in their mission.
The training ended with the thanks to Executive Director and to the participants by the Country Director.
Country Director – CYNESA Rwanda.