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:
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.
- 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
Dear friends, The Southern African Faith Community Environment Institute (SAFCEI) believes that people of faith have a moral imperative to speak against the socio-ecological injustices that face Africa’s peoples and our surrounding environment. In witnessing for the...read more
By Zainab Adams, SAFCEI Outreach Coordinator Day one: I was invited to attend a workshop in Same, Tanzania around “Connecting Poverty to Climate Change”. One of the key points was around “Changing the Mindset”. In the Tanzania context it describes changing the way you...read more
By Liz McDaid Looking back as well as towards the future of FLEAT: case study of Sheik Qassim and Andrew Gwambe Sheikh Qassim attended his first FLEAT programme in 2014 in Cape Town and Andrew Gwambe joined in 2015 with the second intake. The first...read more
FLEAT met in Malawi from 10 - 15 October for their last official workshop before they embark on the next phase of their journey: inspiring others to care for Creation and spreading the word on environmental justice. Malawi was identified as one of the countries that...read more
SAFCEI’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...read more
FLEAT is meeting in Kenya this week and marked World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by speaking on Radio Amani on the importance of Earth Keeping. We pray they keep inspiring their communities and keep spreading the important work they are doing. Liz McDaid...read more