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Interfaith Youth Forum on Climate and Integral Ecology


The Office of Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa has hosted a whole weekend of Interfaith Youth Climate Mobilization on the 15th and 16th of September, 2023.
As we celebrate the Season of Creation from 1 September to 4 October, it was an excellent opportunity to bring together all stakeholders from Faith Based groups, especially schools and communities under the GGF program: St Michael, St Anne’s, Light Academy, Mama Africa, OLM South B, and Shauri Moyo. The two days were hosted by The Catholic University of Eastern Africa and other universities, Tangaza College, MKU, and Nazarene University.
The mobilization also saw the participation of members from different religions: Hare Krishna Temple, Bahai Temple, Harmony Institute, Mother Earth Network, Interreligious Council of Kenya, Focolare Movement, Laudato Si Movement, Green Anglican, Climate Yes and media.
On the first day, 15 September, which was attended by 600 youths, the theme of the forum was: HARMONY FOR A GREEN SUSTAINABLE WORLD: FOSSIL FUEL NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.
It was a good platform for young people to present the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty letter that they handed over to the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan and the representative of the Holy See at UN-Habitat. The Treaty Initiative has garnered the support of several countries and distinguished leaders to formally call for an international mechanism that will guide the phasing out of Fossil Fuels in the world. There is a need for the Kenya government and the Vatican to lobby more governments to adopt the FFNPT. Other guests of honor were the first lady of Kajiado County and the Vice Chancellor of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

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This forum included a discussion of Maasai community members from Isinya/ Olepolos, a community that has been affected by drought and hunger like many regions in Kenya. Their testimony of being victims of the current climate crisis touched young people and leaders. It confirmed that social inequality and some abandoned local communities are some factors of vulnerability to climate change impact.
Some media products are already out Younib TV.
As we celebrate the Season of Creation, the Interfaith Youth Forum was ‘an opportunity for all people of Faith to network and have a dialogue on promoting climate justice and Integral Ecology.

Global Climate Procession

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On day 2, all our youths from Sec. schools, Universities, Laudato Si Movement, Franciscans brothers and sisters, and media gathered at Nyayo stadium to march for climate justice.
The procession on a distance of 10 km from Nyayo stadium to The Catholic University of Eastern Africa was organized in line with the Fridays for Future Movements global climate strike and the global fight to end fossil fuels fast fair, and forever that took place on diverse days between 15th and 17 th in various place of the world. They carried banners and placards with various messages on the stopEACOP campaign and campaign to stop oil and gas extraction in Virunga National Park, as well as the auctioning of 27 oil blocs and three gas blocks in DRC. Everybody chanted the message, stopping over and raising a prophetic voice; it was a good moment for people of Faith to show that as we continue supporting and praying for leaders and victims of the climate crisis, it is our mandate to amplify our voice guided by our faith and warn world leaders and oil companies that continue burning oil is against our Faith. Young people presented to us their document of Interfaith Youth Critical Analysis on the AU Nairobi declaration that was discussed during the previous forum.

It ended with a Climate Concert with Waka Waka Band, messages of encouragement and engagement on the continuation to promote renewable energy as we keep calling on all leaders in the world, especially in Africa, to stop a new Fossil Fuel project.

Sr Mary Wangare Sebastian, the Director of JPIC Franciscans Africa, appreciated all youth, guests, Franciscans and interfaith partners for making the two-day conference successful. She committed to continue leading this platform as JPIC -FA, bringing youth to follow in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi, leading more Faith action in promoting Peace, renewable energy and integral ecology.
Special thanks go to Global Green Fund and 350 Africa for supporting this climate mobilization, to the Hare Krishna Movement, Harmony Institute, Franciscans and The Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

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