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Dear Friends,

This month, we celebrated Africa Environment Day! In 2002, the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union), decided that every year the 3rd of March would be celebrated, by raising awareness of the unique environmental challenges facing the continent. The legacy of Kenyan Nobel laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai, is also now celebrated in conjunction with Africa Environment Day, hence Wangari Maathai Day in honour of her green legacy. On March 3rd, Pope Francis, in a video message, released a video message, inviting Catholics across the world, to participate in Laudato Si Week, 16th to 24th May 2020. “It is a global campaign on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the encyclical letter Laudato si': On the care of our common home”, Pope Francis said.

March 3rd also marked World Wildlife Day, and this year’s theme, “Sustaining all Life on Earth” celebrates the special place of wild plants and animals in their many varied and beautiful forms as a component of the world’s biological diversity. On March 21st and 22nd, we celebrate the International Day of Forests and World Water Day respectively.

These multiple celebrations are important reminders to all of us of our vocation to care for our common home. For us at CYNESA, they serve as an important moment to renew our commitment and dedication to accompany young people in Africa, in their journey of ecological conversion.

I hope that you will find inspiration for your own ecological conversion pilgrimage, through the stories presented in this edition of the CYNESA e-newsletter. Thank you for your ongoing support, and happy reading!

Allen Ottaro,
Founding Executive Director,
CYNESA.
FEATURED BLOGS
CYNESA South Africa Team Meets with Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Creecy:
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Fisheries and Forestry of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Barbara Creecy, held a consultative meeting with young leaders, and engaged in an interactive dialogue on a wide range of environmental issues. 
By: Tafara Dandadzi
Environmental Protection and Youth Engagement in the Digital Age:
The CYNESA Democratic Republic of Congo Chapter brought together 28 young people from the Espace Etudiants at the Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Africaine in Bukavu, South Kivu for a conference themed, “Environmental Protection and Youth Engagement in the Digital Age”,
By: Didier Mugalihya, Lionel Bisimwa, Daniel Mastak.
Ecological promotion and fight against poverty in the DRC:
The parish of Saint Rita, Pumbu City-Kinshasa, hosted an ecological and entrepreneurial formation of young people including youth associations, students and all those working in the field of the environment and green entrepreneurship.
By: Emmanuel Lokpaka.
A Look Back ~ CYNESA ED Speaks at Diocese of Providence’s Care for Creation Series:
Under the leadership of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, the forums organized by the Office of Faith Formation of the Diocese of Providence, in Rhode Island, USA, invited participants to develop authentic Catholic responses to some of the ecological questions of the day.
By: Allen Ottaro.
Introducing Mario Obiora: A Green faith and justice advocate:
One of our inspirational and favorite moments of 2019 was the encounter between our Executive Director, and Mario Obiora, a student at St. Francis Catholic Secondary School (SFCSS), Idimu, a Catholic school run by the North-West African Province of the Society of Jesus..
“The Church and the Pope Need your Work”, Pope Francis tells Catholic Inspired NGOs:
“The social doctrine of the Church offers the framework of ecclesial principles that can help provide a better service to humanity”, said Pope Francis as he encouraged participants “to be familiar with that doctrine, to be well-trained in it, so as then to be able to “translate” it in your projects..
Please support our work and help us to continue with our Mission as young Catholics responding to the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change in Africa.
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CYNESA offers the platform through which young Catholics across Africa, respond to the twin challenges of Environmental Degradation and Climate Change, from the perspective of Catholic social teaching on care for creation, paying attention to the most vulnerable.
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