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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

COP24 Statement by Bishop Geoff Davies

We pray all at COP24 will take the bold and necessary steps needed to ensure that average global temperatures do not exceed 1.5°C. We have already exceeded an average global increase of 1.1°C.  A two degree increase would bring about a three or four degree increase in...

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Faith leaders advocate for solar lighting in Malawi

By Andrew Gwambe   Faith leaders in Malawi are advocating solar for lighting among believers and general community at large in the three districts of Salima, Dowa and Kasungu. The leaders have joined hands with a local faith based organization called Total Life Care...

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“Malawi’s animal welfare problem is real”

Story by Andrew Gwambe, FLEAT 1 participant The practice of treating animals as if they are not part of God’s creation continues in many parts of the world and Malawi is not exempted. The absence of intensive animal welfare awareness exacerbates this situation. “I was...

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Apply now to join faith leader advocacy training in Mombasa

We believe that people of faith have a moral imperative to speak out against the socio-ecological injustices that face Africa’s peoples and their environment. For SAFCEI, advocacy involves the following: Local actions at faith community level that demonstrate a way of...

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fleat Member pROFILES

Janet Nzomo – Kenya – Catholic

Bachelor of Science , Analytical Chemistry Programmes Coordinator for Big Ships – Community Youth empowerment projects on Waste management and rehabilitation of Mangroves...

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Paulo Manuel – Angola – Anglican

Degree in Environmental Engineering in the are of Water and waste water treatment Coordinator for the Department of Projects in Community Development on water and hygiene projects – Anglican Church...

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

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