Speaking during the opening ceremony of capacity building training and planning meeting, General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has challenged the youth to constructively push aside elders that claim to represent them and start to advance issues that will build policy and direction.
“We have brought you here as ambassadors of climate change, justice, and environment and want to challenge you to do something for your own future. Elders may be letting you down since they know they will soon die but you will be there to advance your interests or suffer what the elders may be doing for you around climate change because they know they will not be there,” he addressed the participants drawn from Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Botswana.
Rev. Solomon Zwana, who is also the vice chairperson of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (Foccisa) also read from the New Testament, Psalms 24 vs. 1 and 2: “The earth is the LORD’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.” to underscore his call for vibrant youth involvement.
Presenting his country report on the youth involvement in the WHF campaign in Malawi, Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) representative M’theto Lungu said not much has been done so far.
“We have a situation where our legal framework is weak or twisted, with policies that fail to talk to each other in the interest of climate change and environment issues. For instance you find a policy that protects forests being compromised with one that allows mining to take place in the same area. Water, land and other resources tend to collide and need to be brought into harmony.
The youth of Malawi are also not used to constructive cause like in the areas of climate change, justice and environment, and are most of the times engaged when its time to make noise for someone’s cause. This i unfortunate,” he addressed the meeting organised by the WHF Secretariat based in Lusaka, Zambia.
The two day caucus is exploring advances that have been done in participating countries, especially following events around COP17 which took place in Durban, South Africa.
COP17 and the WHF platform, said Abraham Chikasa, WHF’s regional coordinator, created an opportunity for faith leaders and communities to start to engage authorities more on issues that threaten the welfare of the people not only in sub-Shara Africa, but across the globe.
“God gave responsibility to mankind to look after all His creation. Faith circles must embrace this and protect God’s creation for peoples well being. Hunger, poverty, floods, wars, and other negative impacts of climate change are devastating Africa and something must be done now,” he said.