Southern Africa faith Communities leadership training

Green Anglicans at SAFCEI FLEAT

The Green Anglicans movement attended a three day Faith Leaders Environmental Advocacy Training at Monkey Valley Noordhoek from 02-04 December 2020, hosted by SAFCEI. This was the first FLEAT programme run in Cape Town. The programme was attended by multiple faith leaders from very various faiths.

The training was highly informative. The weekend started with an Interfaith dialogue around what our various faiths says about Land and Water Justice. After which we then  had a session on what is  Dialogue which most Faith leaders are encouraged to have, but at times we fail our communities as we go into conversations already having decided how it should go. This was a good exercise which also allowed us to reflect on what we have done in the past as leaders, and how we could rectify those mistakes and avoid them. 

We took some time and did an Eco-audit led by Kim Kruyshaar as looked at ourselves and found that we were all at different levels and can do better to save our planet. One of the attendees did say: “Sometime we score low not because we are good stewards, but rather our socioeconomics force us into situations where we find ourselves being good Eco stewards but not doing it out of love”. 

One key element of environment stewardship is having to do things out of love, during this session we were also shown different methods and/or items which we could use at our homes or places of worship to reduce our carbon footprint while saving some money. As faith leaders we need to encourage our members to practice energy and water saving methods, but always insist on doing an audit and looking at what best suits organizations in their context. 

The second day of the programme also opened up conversations around the Nuclear power deal facing our country and the negative impacts of nuclear power stations on our environment and its impact on climate change. We also had a session led by Stephen Jacobs from SAFCEI who taught us around the world’s natural cycle and how we humans have made it unnatural by our exploitation of the environment’s resources. This sparked the conversation about how we could reduce human impact on the natural cycle.   

The final day we took time to look at issues affecting Cape Town and how best together as Faith leader we can address environmental issues in our communities.  Even though we are members of different faith groups, we live and stay in the same communities where the people we lead are facing environmental issues and we need to join hands in making our communities better Eco-friendly communities which the next generation can enjoy. 

Another highlight from the programme was the visit to the Oceanview Organic Food Garden as a success story of 5 women who banded together to start a vegetable garden to sell to local markets at reasonable and affordable prices for the local community. This was something that all participants were eager to get started, and also look at how they could implement in their own communities.

The highlight from the programme was the networking that took place as well as the understanding that we all have a role to play in caring for creation, and as faith leaders we are called to reach out to our people and get them to join the cause. 

 

Bino and John-Paul

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