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Reports

JPIC Franciscans Africa 2020 Annual Report on Climate Justice

INTRODUCTION

The office of JPIC Franciscans Africa is a program of the Franciscan Family association having the mandate to Africa. JPICFA exists to animate, coordinate and collaborate with Franciscans and people they minister to and in collaboration with other partners to work for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in society/Africa. It does this through formation, coordination, communication and collaboration.

We are pleased to share with you our annual report for 2020, with hearts filled with gratitude to you for partnering with us through prayer, support and collaboration. Amidst this global pandemic we saw the hand of God through your presence with us. Despite all challenges, we stood united with faith and hope.

The year 2020 is gone and left a lot of impacts on our individual lives but also impacts at institutional and organizational levels. Apart from lack of resources and the restriction to not hold physical events, the office of Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa had achieved and learned a lot. It has been a year of online trainings, Laudato Si 5th anniversary celebration, charity work, online art and entertainment, networking locally, regionally, and globally.

Despite the hit of the second wave of Covid-19, we shall hit the ground of climate with a lot of energy and creativity in order to achieve the Just Recovery we want. It will be important for us to build on the foundations that we laid down in the past and use properly the networks and resources that we got along the way.

Also, the first 5 years of the Paris Agreement have shown us that our governments have been neglecting our voices, continuing to invest in coal, oil and gas in the whole of Africa, especially in East Africa and DRC where we are present and coordinating climate action.

We are glad that even though in Kenya we did virtual actions, our teams in Tanzania, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)/Bukavu have made it with amazing physical mobilization. In 2021, our new teams will rise in Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan and other parts of Africa. It is our prayer that 2021 is coming with a lot of positive surprises and will fill the gaps left by 2020.

 


BIRTHDAY TREE PLANTING CAMPAIGN

The beginning of 2020 was very exciting with our monthly campaign (Birthday Tree Planting Campaign). Inspired by Laudato Si, our office launched this campaign with a motto: Planting trees and cutting cake as new tradition to celebrate our birthdays. We encourage each and everybody in the world to pick the idea and implement it. Our dream is to restore Eden Garden and we believe you all, and especially the young generation can do it. For the year 2020 we decided to plant only fruits so that children who are much involved in this campaign be motivated and see a direct result.

In Kenya, we started on 24th January 2020, at Dandora Parish, 14th February by visiting Oloolwa forest and 29th February planting fruits at Kipepeo children’s home. Click on the links to see some photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/4uLLpMc2mmw94AFv8,

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Mzsua9WKEAGEYLPy8,

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8sNSKs23VqX63cn57.

We came back to the field in October with respect of Covid-19 restrictions and we closed the year with a special fruits planting on 19th November.

Click here to see photos

 

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

April 22 is always Earth Day celebration. We joined the whole world in advocating for climate Justice and a Just Recovery from Covid-19 and climate change. This was done through an online Live concert performed by our able Waka Waka Band. During the concert, the new song Anticovid-19 by Waka Waka Band was launched officially.

Through a Tweet published on April 22, GCCM, which has Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology, Laudato Si’ as its founding document, posted the song and invited followers to “share it with friends.”  

Also, the Association for Catholic Information wrote an article about the song: https://www.aciafrica.org/news/1215/catholic-movement-recognizes-african-song-on-covid-19-band-leader-excited-encouraged

Before the concert, we held a session of media interviews and you can find the whole concert here: https://youtu.be/kK8Ie5Vb0Bc

 

REGULAR ZOOM TALKS

In order to keep the unity of Franciscans in Africa and friends, the Franciscan Family Association of Kenya through the office of JPIC Franciscans Africa hosted every Saturday online recollections and talks. Various topics were discussed with help of different experts.

This helped us to understand the wave we are living in and what action to take as Franciscans.

Find more topics recorded on our YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/c/JPICFA

 

TRAININGS

We must acknowledge that the shifting online due to Covid-19 has been of great advantage in learning and networking. Our youth teams in East Africa, religious and interfaith members have gone through the Laudato Si Animator training, Africa Vuka training and Laudato Si Revolution and integral ecology. Due to that, we are having a big number of animators and climate activists.

 

LAUDATO SI 5TH ANNIVERSARY

The Laudato Si week celebration was marked by activities of tree planting and webinars and webinars. One important action was successful lobbying that made the Catholic University of Eastern Africa to declare divestment. Another good product was the song Laudato Si Celebration by Waka Waka Band 

The week closed with a Laudato Si Generation Exhibition. Young people from different countries attended a 22 May, Global Webinar on Laudato Si Generation Exhibition. The main guest was Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, Faith for Earth Initiative Director at UNEP. Many stakeholders around the world joined in an inspirational dialogue and exhibition of achievement by youths around Africa.

 

DAY OF AFRICAN CHILD

Every 16th of June we celebrate the Day of African Child, a day that originated from the massacre that killed hundreds and injured thousands of children in Soweto/South Africa during the Apartheid regime. This year, the day came after the death of George Floyd and we joined the Black Lives Matter movement by raising the voices of vulnerable African children, with a Global Webinar under the theme: Children rights and Black Lives matters.  On the same occasion the Waka Waka Band recorded a special song to honor George Floyd.

 

CHARITY WORK

Covid-19 affected many people in Kenya, but it was so alarming in informal resettlements and children’s homes, the reason being that people in slums depend on daily manual jobs offered on streets, and children’s homes that depend on people of good will who visit them with some donations. Since all this could not happen as usual due to the global pandemic, we visited two children’s homes, the Global Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre and Mary Immaculate Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, and people in Mukuru Slum with food stuffs.

SEASON OF CREATION

 

The Season of Creation gave us another opportunity to join the global climate action in prayer and online climate strike. In Kenya, the annual Franciscan Family Day and Global Climate Strike initiated by Greta Thunberg coincided. We were able to coordinate the climate action in the whole East Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through our Laudato Si Generation members. The Special mass was celebrated by His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megan at Franciscan Family Centre (Portiuncula) where he blessed people, animals and seedlings. The event was stream lived by Capuchin TV https://youtu.be/WEMd48ITwRQ.

The Apostolic Nuncio elaborated deeply on the Season of Creation and showed much appreciation for the role of Franciscans and our interfaith partners in care for creation. He finally blessed the seedlings and animals that were brought to the mass, and he launched the Season of Creation by cutting a banner and cake: https://youtu.be/cuSz0jZK_Ao

Still in the context of Season of Creation, through the spirit of our annual Interfaith Youth Forum on Environment and Peace, Laudato Si Generation members in partnership with the office of Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa, together with other stakeholders joined the Fridays for Future movement on 25 September 2020 with a virtual event. Children from different schools, different faiths, plus religious people took the online stage with various performances for climate advocacy; watch it here.

Find here some pictures of the event: Interfaith Green Festival Pictures.

A special song, Africa Vuka https://youtu.be/pQrqxcZDzf8 was also recorded by Waka Waka Band, calling people and institutions to Divest from Fossil Fuels and embrace renewable energy.

In Burundi and Tanzania, our teams were also in action: https://seasonofcreation.org/2020/10/02/children-in-burundi-tanzania-step-up-for-climate-justice-during-season-of-creation/; watch: https://youtu.be/YGW39Aeb9fY and https://youtu.be/yl6HBYwrRMM

 

MARKING 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT

On that day, Laudato Si Generation members in East Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mobilized schools for climate in concerts and forums to commemorate the anniversary. The main goal of the event was to bring together young people in the climate movement to mark the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement and call on the government to demonstrate real climate leadership to stay within 1.5°C by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and not funding fossil fuels. The young people from different schools and universities across East Africa and DRC presented different poetic items under the theme “We rise again.”

In Nairobi, Kenya, a virtual Interfaith Poetic Youth Forum was hosted by the office of JPIC Franciscans Africa.

Listen to the speech of a young girl guest of honor https://t.co/wsHxAiE6c1.

Click here to watch the recording and read the blogpost

 

In the capital city of Burundi, Gitega, Espoir scout team led by our Laudato Si animator Christophe Nshimirimana held a Climate concert and invited political leaders to make their local commitment. Photos and video

The East part of DRC has also woken up to tackle their local issues related to fossil fuels and mining. Led by our able Laudato Si animator Robert Chikwanine, in Bukavu, South Kivu held a documentary projection and school debate. Find some photos on the link below.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SPRMn5WcMTnujJUO0zfDwlhAAfjrp76H?usp=sharing

 

In Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam, a Green Talent Show was conducted by our famous lady Rehema Peter.

Hosted at the University of Dar es Salaam, the event brought on board many stakeholders like Climate Action Network Tanzania, the Climate science community and The A'ray Justice and Peace Initiative (TAJPI). We acknowledge also the participation of Dar es Salaam University Student Organization (DARUSO), Association of Students from Geography and Environmental Studies (AGEM), University of Dar es Salaam Association for Wildlife and Conservation (UDAWICOSA), Earth Day, and Go Green.

Find photos and some videos on the link below:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1A3BcRrH7r7ExXmr6SndrBdqv0rTgI_wO?usp=sharing

 

PARTNERSHIP

All this could not happen successfully without combined efforts between our office and our faithful partners: 350.org, Mother Earth Network, Capuchin TV, Inter-religious Dialogue and Islamic Studies (IRDS), Interfaith Public Health Network, Mercy Sisters, Laudato Si Revolution campaign, JPIC OFM ROME, The Global Catholic Climate Movement, UNEP/ Faith4Earth, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, AGV, SAPIA, Mercy Education Office, Bahai Community, Hare Krishna Temple, and Harmony Institute.

 

              Steeven Kezamutima

JPIC Franciscans Africa, Program Manager

And Laudato Si generation Africa Member

 

 

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Portiuncula, Franciscan Centre,

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