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Dear Friends,

The last few months have been challenging and difficult for many across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the loss of many lives and livelihoods. COVID-19 has exposed our personal and communal brokenness. It has brought to the fore the fissures in our relationship with nature and with each other. Pope Francis invites us to “prepare the future”. “After the crisis, will we continue with this economic system of social injustice, and depreciating care for the environment, for creation, for our common home?”, Pope Francis asks.

As we begin the Season of Creation, whose theme is “Jubilee for the Earth”, we seek to continue working towards the transformation that is needed to heal our relationship with Mother Earth. Tackling the ecological crisis – the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, the throw-away culture - needs all hands on deck. There is no time like the Season of Creation to renew our commitment to our vocation of care of creation.

Finally, in presenting this edition of the CYNESA e-newsletter, I am pleased to announce that we have a new 7-member board, chaired by Fr. Dr. Charles Odira from Kenya, and deputized by Ms. Theddy Ladislaus from Tanzania. We look forward to working with the new board to realize our mission, especially during these extra-ordinary times.. Thank you for your ongoing support, and happy reading!

Allen Ottaro,
Founding Executive Director,
CYNESA.
FEATURED BLOGS
Integrating Biodiversity in Pastoral Engagements: A Reflection on Laudato Si’:
Biodiversity depletion affects the climate negatively and could lead to losses of plant, birds and animal species with far reaching repercussions on fisheries, food security, tourism and marine diversity as a whole. 
By: Rev. Fr. Dr. Evarist Ankwasiize, AJ.
The Home Garden Approach During Covid-19:
This article presents the “home garden” approach used by some young people of the CYNESA Democratic Republic of Congo Chapter, in response to the scarcity of vegetables but also in response to the government’s call for physical distancing in the city of Bukavu, South Kivu province.
By: Didier Mugalihya.
Respect for the Planet’s resources – The Pope Video 9 - September 2020:
Pope Francis explains to us that it is impossible for the most developed countries to maintain their current level of consumption at the cost of exploiting the natural resources of the rest of the planet. We have to abandon the throw-away culture and end the commercial imbalances that have so many negative consequences for the environment. 
KENYA: Catholic Priests Geared Up to be Agents of Change After Online Engagements on Ecological Conversion:
Catholic priests in the Sub-Saharan Africa who benefited from the just concluded online engagements on ecological conversion convened by CYNESA are set to be agents of change in taking care of creation in various ways based on the knowledge acquired from the workshop.
By: Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA.
Introducing the New CYNESA Board
We have a new board!
It is with great pleasure that we welcome our new board members:
  • Fr. Charles Odira Kwanya (Kenya) - Board Chair.
  • Ms. Theddy Ladislaus (Tanzania) - Board Vice Chair.
  • Hon. Pamela Maassay (Tanzania) - Board Member.
  • Mr. John Ngigi (Kenya) - Board Member.
  • Mrs. Marion Kang’ara (Kenya) - Board Member.
  • Ms. Balla Galma (Kenya) - Board Member.
  • Our Executive Director, Allen Ottaro will serve as Secretary to the Board.
Profile preview of our Chairperson and Vice Chairperson:
(Full profiles of all Members will be updated on our website.)
Fr. Charles Odira Kwanya is a Catholic Priest, Lecturer and the Head of Department of Mission and Islamic Studies at Tangaza University College. He is a holder of a Doctorate degree in Missiology, with a specialization in interreligious Studies from the Pontifical University Urbaniana (Italy -2009). Some published works include: Debate of the African concept of time: Its Missiological consequence on a pluralistic world (2009); Caring for Environment: Climate Change, Act of God or human Action? in the Civic Education series (2013); Caring for God's Creation in the Journey of Faith series (2014); Children and God's Creation (2014) among others.
Fr. Charles worked as the National Executive Secretary for the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Commissions for: Pastoral, Ecumenism and Inter-religious dialogue respectively (2011-2017). He is the Founding Chairman of the Kenya Interfaith Network of Action for Environment (KINAE). Fr. Charles is a member of the National Oversight and Coordination Committee (NOCC) of the Evergreen Agriculture Project. He is also a member of the Kenya National Agroforestry Strategy Development Process. Fr. Charles serves as the Parish priest of St. Arnold, Nyalienga Catholic Parish, Homa Bay Diocese.
We are truly honoured and blessed to have Fr. Charles serve as Chairperson of the CYNESA Board.
Ms. Theddy Ladislaus is the Co-founder and owner of Untold Global Ltd, a Tech, Data and Strategic Communications company which provides exceptional advisory services to Governments and Private Sector in the areas of strategic communications, branding and visibility as well as management of public relationships. Ms. Ladislaus holds an MBA in International Business and Entrepreneurship from Universitatea Româno-Americană, Romania, and a Bachelor’s degree in ICT with Business from Mzumbe University, Tanzania.
Ms. Ladislaus was elected and appointed by the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete as a youth representative of the National Constitutional Assembly in 2014. As the youngest Member of Parliament by then, Ms. Ladislaus’ contribution and input during the Parliament discussions represented the youth voices and laid a crucial foundation to the amendment of the upcoming new constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. Ms. Ladislaus has worked as a digital campaign manager in various countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa managing political campaigns ranging from Primary, Parliamentary, to Presidential elections. She devised winning campaign strategies, converted online users and supporters to voters and effectively utilized technological platforms to bring politicians and governments closer to citizens.
Ms. Ladislaus also served as the first CYNESA Tanzania Country Director, and we are delighted to welcome her back to the CYNESA family as Vice Chairperson of the Board.
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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