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.
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:
- 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
The first Zambia FLEAT (Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training) was held on Zoom from 19 – 21 May 2021. Zambia is predominantly Christian with 95% of the population identifying Christians from different denominations. The FLEAT group consisted of 28...read more
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...read more
SAFCEI hosted an online Regional Interfaith Dialogue on “What does your faith say about green funerals?” and Prayers for the Earth for #EarthDay Speakers included Ezelle Theunissen (Buddhist) Pirira Ndaferankhande (Catholic, Malawi), Sheikh Ismail Keraan (Muslim,...read more
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...read more
We hosted our online FLEAT (Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training) Malawi on Zoom from 2-4 March 2021. The FLEAT Malawi group of faith leaders were selected to attend the online training in 2020, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to postpone the...read more
“The President of the Republic of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera set an initiative that every Friday (the second week of each month) we should be having cleaning exercises in our communities. Malawi Creation Care Network, Scotland Partnership & National Youth Conference...read more
fleat Member pROFILES
FLEAT: Nyorowai Mutsago represents the Zimbabwe Council of Churches at the Alternative Mining Indaba
On Tuesday, 9 February 2021, our FLEAT 2 member Ms Nyorowai Mutsago in Zimbabwe represented the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) at the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) on the topic of Debt, extractives and inequality. Nyorowai’s presentation reads: “One of ZCC’ work...read more
My little garden Farming in small spaces In this week's Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) feature story, we introduce Ms. Jackline Rebecca Wananda, a member of FLEAT Uganda who represents her Christian Community. Jackline is the founder of FLOW...read more
In this week's Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) feature story, we look at the work of Mrs. Sebia Kwaramba, a member of our FLEAT Zimbabwe group who represents a number of organisations including the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Methodist...read more
In this week's Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) feature story, we look at the work of Dominic Amon Nyasulu from Malawi, who is a member of the FLEAT 2 regional representing the Catholic faith. Dominic Amon Nyasulu is the Programmes Manager for the...read more
In this week's Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) feature story, we look at the work of Kelly Mwakanah Ngeti from Mombasa, Kenya, who has been a member of the FLEAT 1 regional group since 2015. From the organization Center for Sustainable Development...read more
Our story this week comes from Lisa Johnstone. Lisa is a FLEAT South African member and represents the Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni. She shares with us some of the activities the Mission and Outreach department have been up to recently. “As you can imagine,...read more