Climate change is a universal challenge and Pope Francis sees it as a major threat to life on the planet needing attention hence his repeated calls to honest dialogue and urgent action about our environment.
On 1 October, the Department of Justice and Peace hosted six members of Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) in the media room.
CYNESA came about as a response to St Pope John Paul II’s 1990 message for World Day of Peace in which he called for the need to upscale ecological awareness and to find fitting expression in concrete programmes and initiatives.
This inspired young people from across Africa to collaborate in responding to this invitation.
Roselyne Thirikwa said that on an expedition to Soweto, she saw similarities in environmental challenges that are faced by her home country, Kenya.
t the heart of Laudato Si is the question: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”
Reflecting on this, Roselyne continued: “The pangolin has earned the unfortunate label of “the most trafficked mammal” in the world. As a result it has been declared endangered. Because it seems exotic, people believe it has potent healing powers. It is trafficked for its meat, body parts and scales. When it is threatened, it rolls itself into a ball to protect itself and this makes it easy for people to capture it.
Bringing the subject closer to home, she asked: “When was the last time you saw a butterfly freely fluttering about? At this rate, our children will only read about butterflies just like we read about dinosaurs.”
Allen Ottaro said they have been struggling to secure funds, however, that has not stopped them from forging ahead and producing newsletters documenting the work that they do. An unsolicited sponsor came across their newsletter and decided to fund them.
Head of the Department of Justice and Peace, Joseph Dube said his department would like to cooperate with CYNESA and would like to establish a Chapter of the organisation in the Archdiocese. Interested youth can contact the Justice and Peace Department on 011 4026400.