The event, held on October 31 and November 1, 2014, was attended by university students, secondary-school pupils, Catholic congregations and interfaith religious leaders.
It was organised by the office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa (JPICFA), the Centre for Social Justice and Ethics of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA-CSJE), Mother Earth Network and the United Religions Initiative.
'We need young people with wings to fly and roots to receive from the elders'
Erick Ogallo, environmental co-ordinator of Mother Earth Network, said: ‘The youth showed great insight during the event and this was shown by their eagerness to participate regularly in such forums. The key message from the youth was, “We play a key role in promoting peace and environment.” ’
The need to involve young people in caring for the environmental was also highlighted at ARC’s International Workshop on Sustainable Land Management held in Mukono, Uganda, on October 14-16, 2014.
Allen Ottaro, the executive founding director of the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) said: ‘Five per cent of people in Africa are under the age of 25. We need to put young people at the forefront of these activities and mobilise resources to give them a chance to get involved. Seventy per cent of those at the launch [in October] of the Kenya Interfaith Network on Environmental Action [an ARC initiative] were young people.’
‘In a video-conference with Pope Francis and young people, the Pope said, “We need young people with wings to fly and roots to receive from their elders in order to achieve a sustainable future.” ’