Roman Catholic Youths from Blantyre Archdiocese have embarked on a tree planting campaign aimed at replenishing nature which has been badly depleted over the past years in the country.
The Youths from different Deaneries of the Church trading under the Young Christian Workers (YCW) banner planted over 1,000 trees at the foot of Mulanje Mountain in Phalombe on Saturday as part of their annual tree plantation event.
According to Vice President for YCW in Blantyre George Baluti, aside preaching the word of God, youths in the Church decided to take the responsibility of replenishing nature as they understand the consequences that they would share in the future due to increased environmental degradation.
“As it is written in the book of Genesis; man has a God-given responsibility of taking care of the environment, but over the past years the same man has been the most destructive creature on earth, causing damage to all that God gave him to take care of. So we as youths would like to change the situation by first restoring the order of nature to its old set up,” said Baluti.
Asked about how they were going to ensure that the planted trees survived, Baluti said they relied on fellow youths and the general congregation around the areas where they are planting trees to take care of them.
“For instance last year we planted 1,000 seedlings at Soche Hill and we left the responsibility in the hands of our fellow youths there. When we went to monitor their growth progress this year we found that at least 80 percent of the planted trees were doing well, so it has proved to be working,” further explained Baluti.
He added that through the word of God they learned that they are being challenged to serve Him by saving His people from destruction through first replenishing nature and taking good care of it.
Diocesan Youth Chaplain in the Archdiocese of Blantyre Fr. Frank Mwinganyama said following a 2016 Religious Exhortation by Pope Francis XVI, the Church deemed it worth encouraging its youth to plant and take care of trees as a way of serving God.
Partly the Pope’s Exhortation asked human kind to realize that they are one part of God’s creation and the environment is another, as such destructing any part of creation is disturbing the order of nature which has negative outcomes in the end.
In the Encyclical entitled Laudato Si (“Praised Be”) the Holy Father referred to the care for the environment as a ‘new work of mercy’.
“To that effect, we are encouraging every youth in our Church to plant at least three trees at home on top of the ones that we are planting every year together in various places of the country,” said Fr. Mwinganyama.
The Chaplain further noted that the youths had displayed patriotic spirits, considering that they conducted this year’s event using funds generated from among themselves through pledges, a thing he said was commendable.
At least 100 youths from Blantyre, Limbe, Mulanje and Phalombe Deaneries took part in this year’s tree planting event on Mulanje Mountain.