The Influence of Laudato Si’ on Jesuit Missions programmes
The climate crisis impacts the most vulnerable people in the world right now. In response, Jesuit Missions is helping our partners to create a more sustainable future. Currently, one fifth of our programmes focus on the environment.
One of the most important points Pope Francis identifies in his encyclical Laudato Si’ is that climate change affects the poorest the most. This is for many reasons including dependency on the agricultural sector and a lack of funds to adapt to climate change.
The idea of ‘integral ecology’ informs our programmes, we recognise that everything is connected. Therefore, our response to climate change also addresses other injustices such as economic and gender inequalities.
This year we started working with Arrupe Social Centre (CSA), a Jesuit social centre in the capital. Madagascar is one of the countries climate change is impacting the most. It is also among the poorest countries in the world with 75% of the population living on less than £1.50 a day. We are supporting CSA’s LIFEE programme which was designed with Laudato Si’ in mind. It aims to make young people leaders for climate justice in ten regions of the country. They carried out some practical activities such as a mass forestation and a ‘Green Weekend’ before lockdown started. During the lockdown they have been running awareness-raising initiatives like a weekly radio show about protecting our planet.
Since 2019 we have been working with CERCLE, a study centre for students who have failed the state exams. We supported the instalment of solar panels to improve financial and environmental sustainability. We also provided food relief during lockdown to the poorest students, the majority of whom are marginalised girls. There is great potential for solar energy in Burkina Faso. It is is home largest solar plant in West Africa, which plans to supply 30% of the country’s energy.
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