Gearing up for on the go

An inspired group of young Africans are eager to meet the growing demand for eco-education. Now, all they need is a way to get moving.

There’s little about Africa that's small. This includes the hearts of its people and the distances that they must travel to help one another care for their common home.

Few know the reality of big distances more than the team at Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa. Their vocation to work with Catholic youth throughout the continent is often hampered by an inability to travel, especially from their home base in Nairobi to areas in eastern Africa.

“Over the last eight years, we have been forced to miss endless opportunities to reach more young people across the continent—especially those in remote, rural areas,” David Munene, CYNESA Programs Manager, told Catholic Ecology.

“We have been rained on and scorched in the sun wasting valuable time while waiting for a bus or a bodaboda (motorbike taxi) to take us to our destinations. We have an invitation by the young people of West Pokot that has been pending since 2018.”

Munene adds that if CYNESA had its own, dedicated vehicle, Laudato Si' would be in more places than it currently is.

Everything is connected

it is in his eco-encyclical Laudato Si' that Pope Francis reminds us that everything is connected.

This includes the problems of our fellow global citizens and the solutions that can solve them.

“Over the last eight years, we have been forced to miss endless opportunities to reach more young people across the continent - especially those in remote, rural areas,” David Munene

Last month, CYNESA kicked off its “CYNESA On The Go Appeal” to raise funds to buy the vehicle to do the work that God is calling them to.

Especially now, as the world readies for life after COVID.

“Like many people around the world, I have had to spend the past year in my city due to the pandemic,” notes CYNESA founder and executive director Allen Ottaro. “Interactions and meetings that I would ordinarily have in person had to take place online. Now, the opportunities are opening up slowly and I am getting ready to evangelize—to go out and meet with young people, and put into action the mission of CYNESA.”

Ottaro adds that his entire team is ready for the work ahead, “and a vehicle would make such a huge difference, especially in reaching young people in parishes in rural areas across East Africa.”

And so, here’s where you come in.

By simply clicking on the CYNESA On The Go Appeal page and donating what small amount you can, you (or your organization) can help.

As Ottaro puts it, helping the CYNESA team with their transportation needs is “a great opportunity to be part of the story of CYNESA, as we take this important next step in the life of our young network.”

Donations will help match a grant of $16,000—half the cost of the Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 that the group has their eyes on. All funds will be used for the vehicles purchase. Regular maintenance and fuel will be funded with ongoing programming fees.

A Lenten Sacrifice?

The world, my friends, is about to begin moving again. What say we help this inspired group of young people go forth and bring with them the good news of Christ’s gospel as they work to help their fellow youth save the great beauty of the African continent.

Your donation can help make that happen.

Photo: Flicker/"Amboseli Sun Down" by daijithegeek

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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.