Bamako (Mali). On 4 September 2021, in Mary Help of Christians School Complex of Niamana, Bamako, Mali, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Mother of God Province (AFO), the day of reforestation took place.
The Day was organized by the Elite West Africa Consortium (EWA), which promotes the development of intensive crops and reforestation in West African countries, by the AMAVEC Environment Association, and by the Niamana Municipal Youth Council. The EWA Consortium was born in 2015 on the Ivory Coast by the leaders of the intellectual youth of West Africa with the aim of helping the young people of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to build a future of peace for the peoples.
Every year the Consortium organizes this reforestation activity to fight desertification and protect the environment. This year, Mary Help of Christians School was chosen, which has a land of about 4 hectares. It is a large enough area for the students who suffer from the extreme heat during the dry season due to few trees and lack of shade. The objective of this initiative is therefore to contribute to the restoration of ecosystems, but also to encourage the younger generations to become aware of the situation of the “Common Home”, to help reduce the effects of climate change.
Several authorities attended the day, including the territorial head (chefferie) of Niamana, representatives of the Municipality, the ECOWAS Commission in Mali, the Regional Directorate of Water and Forests, Civil Protection, and the Police. The Coordinator of EWA Mali recalled some fundamental values for the Consortium, such as respect for human rights, equity, social justice, responsible participation of young people, in the perspective of the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda. The African proverb, “Whoever plants a tree before dying has not lived in vain”, underlined the close link between nature and human beings. At the end, the Animator of the FMA Community Blessed Eusebia Palomino, Sr. Yvonne Ouedraogo, intervened.
After the interventions were completed, 80 trees were planted in the area assigned to “Mary Help of Christians” School Complex.
In a global and local context in which nature suffers a lot of damage for various reasons, reforestation and ecological education are fundamental for the Educating Communities in terms of global cooperation, as expressed in the Joint Message for the care of Creation, “All of us, whoever and wherever we are, can play a role in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation”.