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 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
APPLY: Join our new online Zambia Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training – 19 to 21 May April 2021
SAFCEI is calling on people of faith in Zambia, particularly those in a position of leadership, who want to be actively involved in environmental advocacy within their own community and beyond. The Southern African Faith Community Environment Institute (SAFCEI)...read more
Dear friends, SAFCEI, the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, is a faith-based environmental organisation comprised of people of many faiths who are united in diversity through a common commitment to cherish living earth and to tackle issues of...read more
SAFCEI Board and FLEAT member, David Munene will be moderating the Brahma Kumaris Interfaith panel on Inner awareness and commitment for restoring nature on Saturday 6th February 2021 at 1100 GMT +3. This program dedicated to UNE5.1 - UN Environment Assembly 2021....read more
FLEAT regional group 2 member, Dominic Amon Nyasulu, will be delivering a keynote address at The Road to COP26 online meeting. Nyasulu highlights this meeting as An opportunity for young people in Malawi to share their ideas and input on NDCs, NAP and Malawi...read more
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...read more
fleat Member pROFILES
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more