SOUTH AFRICA: Green project to educate 15,000 youth
Salesian missionaries launch Eco Ubuntu environmental project
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the AFM Vice-Province of Blessed Michael Rua in South Africa held a workshop for 39 delegates and leaders from the Eco Ubuntu project in Johannesburg. The three-year Eco Ubuntu project was inspired by Pope Francis’ 2020 Laudato Si’, which had as its theme “Good Christians and Upright Citizens.” Pope Francis underlined the importance of education and training to help youth foster environmental responsibility.
The green project involves most of the 18 Salesian school networks in Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa. Salesians will educate more than 15,000 youth about environmental protection through eco camps, debates and festivals. Once youth have the knowledge, the goal is for them to help educate their communities and the broader society about enacting green interventions such as solar energy, borehole installations, hydroponics sites and sustainable gardens.
The workshop brought together Eco Ubuntu project stakeholders including leadership from schools, green delegates (mainly school teachers), and experts in solar technology, water access, waste management, hydroponics and sustainable cultivation. There were educational sessions, time for questions and an open forum.
One Salesian said, “This was a successful kick-off workshop where experts were able to share best practices and the teachers who are our delegates provided creative input and asked questions about the project and how best to educate youth on the subject.”
Salesian programs in South Africa provide a range of educational and social programs to help poor youth and their families have hope for a better future. The environmental education provided by this project is a recent addition to Salesian education. Similar Salesian initiatives are happening in centers and schools around the globe.
Poverty is extensive in South Africa with more than half the population and more than 63% of children living below the poverty line, according to UNICEF. A significant percentage of the population struggles to survive on less than $1 a day. The country is plagued by high crime rates and violence against women and girls, and it has been the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS crisis in the world. There is an urgent need for education to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus and to help lift youth out of poverty.
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Salesian Missions – South Africa
UNICEF – South Africa