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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 Cape Town

  By Rev Berry Behr   The historic Cape Town FLEAT was held at Monkey Valley Resort from 2nd to 4th December with an enthusiastic and diverse group of faith leaders. We opened the FLEAT with our very first hybrid online and in-person Regional Interfaith...

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fleat Member pROFILES

FLEAT member feature: Ndivile Mokoena

Ms Ndivile Mokoena has been a member of the first Faith Leader Environment Advocacy Training (FLEAT 1) group since 2014. She is based in Gauteng and represents the Catholic faith as well as Gender CC – Woman for Climate Justice.  Ndivile shares what she has been up to...

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FLEAT member feature: Celestine Otieno

Ms Celestine Otieno was one of the participants in our Faith Leader’ Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) in Kenya in 2018. Celestine was referred to the training by the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) where she worked as...

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FLEAT member feature: Nomonde Scoble  

Nomonde Scoble has been a SAFCEI friend, member and supporter for as long as we can remember. She represents the Quaker community of Southern Africa. In 2017, Nomonde felt the need to learn from others and share her experiences when she applied to the Faith Leader...

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FLEAT member feature: M’theto Lungu

M’theto Lungu has been very active in the environmental sector and has been involved with SAFCEI for quite a few years. He joined the second regional Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT 2) regional group in 2017, representing Malawi Council of Churches...

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FLEAT member feature: Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe

 Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe has been a member of the Kenya Faith Leader Environment Advocacy Training (FLEAT Mombasa) group since May 2018. Bishop Joseph represents the Catholic Diocese of Kakamega, Kenya and has been quite an inspiration to the group.  Bishop Joseph...

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FLEAT member feature: Lawrence Tsoru

Youth, Food Security and Sustainable livelihood project   Lawrence Tsoru is a Zimbabwe Faith Leader Environment Advocacy Training (FLEAT Zimbabwe) member representing the Muslim faith and Fatima Zahra Woman’s Organisation in Harare. Lawrence has been an active...

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

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