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The FLEAT 1 group at a training on water scarcity in southern Africa, in Harare, Zimbabwe, 2015.

As a multi-faith environmental organisation that believes caring for the community of life on Earth is our shared responsibility, we have designed a faith leader training programme (FLEAT) to respond to the stresses that communities are facing. The FLEAT programme includes training, learning, and follow-up with faith leaders who are selected for their interest and desire to develop an eco-faith approach with their faith communities. The programme strives to enhance the capacity of faith leaders to engage with their communities in responding to difficult situations brought about by environmental degradation and climate change, and to develop advocacy tools for eco-justice. In Southern Africa — a region affected by a dramatically variable climate — problems associated with resource availability are being exacerbated by climate change, and the poor and vulnerable are hit hardest. Communities are compelled to embrace new ideas and ways of living in order to cope with new extreme weather and its consequences. We found that when different faiths come together to address common challenges, they are able, through interaction and partnerships, to work effectively towards co-creating greater climate resilience.

The FLEAT 2 group at their introductory training in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017.

Leaders of faith have a special platform from which to speak out against socio-ecological and socio-economic injustices, particularly those facing Africa. Through advocacy training, FLEAT aims to build a network of change agents of faith across Southern Africa who are positioned to effect positive changes in their communities. The FLEAT programme cultivates a space of mutual respect, where different ways of doing things are understood to be opportunities for learning. SAFCEI has trained 79 faith leaders from different faith groups that include Muslim, Christian (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican and Catholic), and Quaker, and the represented countries are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Mozambique

Leaders of faith are engaged in the following:

Local actions in faith communities and ways of living that restore – rather than destroy – nature and the human community, resulting in greater biodiversity and healthier ecosystems; Challenging governments by reminding them to act from principles and values that protect Earth’s living systems, including human society, as well as encouraging governments to support policies that will help to create climate resilience; Sharing stories of hope with other faith communities to inspire them to take similar actions and continue sharing. Our vision is that an empowered civil society, through education and advocacy of faith leaders, will be able to hold governments to account, and to create a sustainable future, which prioritises affordable energy for all.

FLEAT highlights

  • Zambia: 150 community members trained in organic farming.
  • Zimbabwe: Environment day held in 5 schools with 180 multi-faith learners, resulting in the formation of environmental clubs, tree planting, and energy and water saving at schools.
  • Kenya: 70 people involved in a coastal clean-up for World Wildlife Day; FLEAT members ran a schools programme of talks on protecting the environment; CYNESA organised a Green Room at a UN Conference in Kenya.
  • Tanzania: 40 additional faith leaders were educated on climate change, and 1,200 congregants, including climate change projects with a Maasai community and workshops for youth on climate change and poverty.
  • Malawi: FLEAT faith leaders planted 132,000 trees through a joint Christian and Muslim initiative with congregations in Jali District.

Stories from faith leaders in action

Plant a tree to save the world

Vincent Manyika from FLEAT Zambia sent us this inspiring video and message. "African Youth Global Network Director wishes to thank SAFCEI for the support rendered to us. We have grown from one level of Glory to another. We have even started a tree nursery project in...

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Drive towards a solar – hydrogen renewable economy

By Dr Waheed Saban, Cape Town FLEAT member and HOD of Environmental Desk, Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) Renewable energy is a flow of energy that is not consumed when utilized. There are many forms such as wind, hydroelectric, biomass, solar, tidal waves, geothermal...

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FLEAT Malawi 2022

After two sessions on Zoom in 2021, SAFCEI hosted an in-person Faith Leaders Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) workshop in Malawi during 29-31 March 2022. FLEAT Malawi was attended by seventeen faith leaders who were made up of five female participants and...

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Regional Women’s FLEAT blog reflections

Blog by Elizabeth Charley Attending the Regional Women's FLEAT (Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training) workshop from 22 to 24 February 2022, I have been granted a golden opportunity to visualize the broad spectrum of what exactly an Environmental advocate...

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fleat Member pROFILES

FLEAT: Upcoming tree-planting activities in Malawi

Undule Mwakasungula, a member of FLEAT Malawi, has partnered with two non-profit making organizations in tree-planting initiative in Karonga. Mwakasungula, through his non-profit firm UDK Consultancy, has since mobilized 1, 000 tree seedlings, which will be planted...

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FLEAT Malawi: Sheikh Ismail Amini women’s workshop

Sheikh Ismail Amini, a member of our FLEAT (Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training) Malawi group facilitated an Environmental awareness and Youth creativity and innovation programme on Thursday 17 June where 40 college women participated.  The participants were...

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FLEAT: Web of Life workshop in Zimbabwe

On 6 May Evans Ndadzungira, Zimbabwe Youth Biodiversity Network (ZYBN) School Outreach Officer and FLEAT Zimbabwe participant and Knowledge Vingi (ZYBN Programs Coordinator) was invited by Arundel School to conduct the exciting Web of Life workshop. The program is...

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FLEAT: Earth Day 2021

Happy Earth Day to our Earth Keepers! Today (April 22) is Earth Day, an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection. The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations. This year's theme...

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