Anglican Students Federation celebrates 60 years!
The Anglican Student Federation of Southern Africa held it’s 60th Provincial conference in Eswatini from the 27 till 30 July 2023 at Mphopho conference centre. The Anglican Environmental Network of Southern Africa ( Green Anglicans ) was invited to be part of this great celebration of students from across the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
On Saturday morning the conference was themed around care for creation, we opened the day with a beautiful morning eco devoation led by Bino Makhalanyane – Green Anglicans youth coordinator, with the students from Lesotho and North West. The message was based on Ezekiel 47:1-12 , we are all called to be part of the flowing river, formed by unique raindrops representing each of us.
During our time together Mr. Dlamini from Eswatini Ministry of Tourism and Environment ( Climate department ) gave us a great presentation on the impacts of climate change on our livelihoods all over the SADC region. He also took time to explain what Climate Change was and the role we each need to play when it comes to climate mitigation and adaptation. During the discussion on climate change the students made two important requests – firstly that different methods of fighting climate change should be taught and publicised. Sometimes we think that the only thing we can do to fight climate change is to plant trees and we need to know about other actions we can take as well. The second request was that our governments should always see each church as a stakeholder at all levels of engagement from community to global and not only as a place to mobilise and market programmes.
Ms Busiwa Dlamini from the Global Climate YES (Youth Ecumenical Summit) movement shared with the students the importance of establishing campus eco networks, which allows for young people in that specific campus to have common goals. Issues of the environment affect us all and we can respond in many different ways – for example those in sports can teach children to swim as the floods so they are safe as flooding becomes worse, those in business studies can consider green entrepreneurship, those doing social work can consider the impact of rising food prices due to drought on people’s mental health. Engineering students can consider the adaptation of buildings and infrastructure needed to respond to the changing climate If different groups focus on these different areas, then you can have a better reach to your peers, and this might also open up opportunities to join networks and
Bino Makhalanyane closed the morning theme by unpacking what the Green Anglicans Movement is all about and how the church in Southern Africa continues respond to the Anglican Communion’s Fifth Mark of missions by “safeguarding God’s creation”. There is a need for young people to be at the front of this battle as we are the generation which is being hit hard by climate change.
The Green Anglicans would like to take these opportunity to thank Ms Basetsana Makena and her outgoing exco for the hard work they have done over the past four years and also welcome the newly elected exco led Mr Tsobotsi Koloti.
Bino Makhalanyane _ Green Anglicans Youth Coordinator
We would like to thank the Anglican Overseas Aid for their suppor