Regunathapuram (India).On 12 March 2022, responding to one of the priority choices of the XXIV General Chapter, the eleven Institutions of Higher Studies (ISS-FMA) of Asia and Africa participated in an online International Seminar on The Role of Young People in Safeguarding Mother Earth,
organized by the Auxilium College of Education of Regunathapuram, of the FMA of Blessed Eusebia Palomino Community, belonging to the “Our Lady of the Snow” Province (INT).
A total of 500 people were enrolled in the Seminar, of whom 192 were students, as well as professors and FMA connected through a multimedia platform, and others through YouTube. Also present were Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, Collaborator of the FMA Institute Youth Ministry Sector and Referent for the ISS-FMA, and Sr. Regina Mary, member of the ISS-FMA Asia coordination group.
Recalling the words of Pope Francis from the Message for the XLVII World Day of Peace 2014, “The human family has received from the Creator a common gift, nature”, Fr. John Kennad, Jesuit, Director of JCERT (Jesuit Council of Education Research and Training) held the conference, inviting young people to be authentic guardians of the Planet Earth.
Through slides, he then presented the following points for reflection: 1. How environmental degradation occurs. 2. How humans affect the environment: environmental degradation caused by various human activities; man-made climate change; future changes in the climate; pandemics and climate change; global warming; personal responsibility to save the environment. 3. How we can stop the deterioration of the environment: advantages of using natural sources of energy; the Catholic Church and the conservation of the environment.
Fr. John then gave about twenty young people the space to share their innovative ideas and an action plan to protect the common home, encouraging other students to take care of the Earth.
At the end of the report, the young people asked their questions for some clarification on the issues. The meeting concluded with gratitude for what had been learned, the commitment to gestures of concrete action, and the certainty that it is important to network “with the Salesian Family, Institutions, and other educational bodies to move from words to deeds.” “Only together can we prepare the future and give hope to the younger generations by taking care of integral and, in particular, socio-political formation, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church” (Acts GC XXIV p. 38).