FLEAT moves into the next phase

IMG_2074SAFCEI’s Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT), which began in 2014, is reaching the conclusion of its first cycle and moving into the next phase. In a last series of workshops taking place in Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi, FLEAT members showcased what they’ve learnt by presenting or organising environmental trainings with local groups or communities, so that in 2017 they can go out and inspire other faith communities and faith leaders to engage on environmental issues in their countries.

In the first week of August FLEAT met in Same, Tanzania. Many topics were touched on with presentations from Allen Ottaro (CYNESA Nairobi) on the Encyclical, ‘Perspective and Experiences of Youth’; Jacob Manda (Zambia) on the dangers of chemicals in agriculture and pollution from industries; Kelly Ngeti (CYNESA Mombasa) on sustainable leadership; Ndivile Makoena (South Africa) on gender and climate change; Tendai Gurupira (Zimbabwe) on water and electricity management and Qassim Wales (Malawi) on waste management in the economy from an Islamic perspective.

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FLEAT next met in Nakuru, Nairobi during the last week of August and here FLEAT members were asked to identify communities interested in learning more about the environment or that needed support. The first visit was to a nearby farm where FLEAT participants put their knowledge to use and questioned the practices used there and the impact those have.

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FLEAT also visited St. Xavier’s High School where Rev. Jacob Manda and Rev. Nigel Chikanya presented on agroforestry and biodiversity loss. As this workshop coincided with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on 1 September, they used this opportunity to engage with a local radio station – Radio Amani – during a live radio program concerning the topic of environmental care and cultivation for peace.

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On the last day together in Kenya, Mokoena Ndivile (South Africa) and McCarthy Samalani (Malawi) presented to a group in the Catholic Church. McCarthy gave input on climate change actions from an Islamic perspective, while Ndivile presented on bio-gas construction, including a gender perspective.

The final workshop for 2016 will take place mid-October in Zomba, Malawi where members will be presenting to a multi-faith delegation who are interested in learning more about what they could do to contribute to caring for the environment.

As the FLEAT workshops comes to a close for this group, Kelly Ngeti (CYNESA Mombasa) reflects on what the training has brought him:

“FLEAT has played a lead role in transforming my care for creation. I am a better advocator, I am more informed, focused and determined to conserve and protect our environment more than I could have ever imagined.

I have seen a change too with the other participants; they have grown in terms of expanding their skills. How they would speak of environmental challenges in our first meeting in Cape Town is different to how they present it now. Now we not only complain but we provide solutions that we are confident can mitigate the challenges.

FLEAT has reduced the distance between us; from southern Africa to eastern, we are extremely connected despite the distance, sharing challenges and success stories in our journey in caring for this one common home – for all.

I thank the initiators and organizers of this training; it was a very brave and brilliant idea to bring faith leaders together because indeed fighting for climate justice can only be achieved when faith leaders speak out in unison.”

Our prayer is, as the FLEAT members embark on their own Earth Keeping journey, that every participant will continue to grow and strengthen their work and inspire those around them to join the Earth Keeping movement. SAFCEI will continue to support and work with them and looks forward to facilitating a new group of FLEAT participants together with them in the coming years.

 

A Prayer of Healing for the Earth

We join with the earth and with each other

To bring new life to the land

To restore the waters

To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other

To renew the forests

To care for the plants

To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other

To celebrate the seas

To rejoice the sunlight

To sing the song of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other

To recall our destiny

To renew our spirits

To reinvigorate our bodies

We join with the earth and with each other

To create the human community

To promote justice and peace

To remember our children

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