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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

FLEAT Karoo 2019

  We hosted our first Karoo Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) workshop in Graaff-Reinet from 19th to 21st November. Faith leaders from the Eastern Cape and surrounding areas engaged on issues around water, land, biodiversity loss, food, climate...

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SAFCEI Policy Conference 2019

  We hosted our first Policy Conference in ten years, from 5th to 7th November 2019 at eMseni Christian Centre in Benoni, South Africa. Entitled “A New Vision for Sacred Life and Living Earth”, the conference brought together faith and thought leaders and...

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Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy – August 2019

FLEAT South Africa: All hands on deck at David Profit Street Bonteheuwel PEACE GARDENS. Dutch Television are coming tomorrow, God Willing, to film our Peace Gardens for a documentary on Fynbos, the birds and insects it attracts to Bonteheuwel and most important, the...

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fleat Member pROFILES

Sadat Nsubuga- Uganda – Muslim

Diploma in Crop production and management Background in Sustainable Agriculture and organic farming Project officer Sustainable Development for Humanitarian Efforts and Relief Uganda (HEAR)

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Nyorowai Mutsago – Zimbabwe – Methodist

Work experience in Gender based Violence, community development, Environment and climate change, human trafficking etc. Certificate in Community development and humanitarian management Advocacy and projects office – United Methodist Church Zimbabwe

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M’Thetu Lungu – Malawi – Presbyterian

Climate Justice and Environment Activist – We have faith Leader of Malawi Interfaith Youth for Climate Change President of the Journalist Union of Malawi Programmes Coordinator Malawi Councils of Churches  

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We invite our FLEAT (Faith Leaders Environment Advocacy Training) Members to join our Facebook Group.

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