Anglican Church of Lesotho Environmental Sustainability Activities
The Anglican Church of Lesotho (ACL) has put its weight behind the church’s call to protect the environment and to make a positive contribution to reduce the dire effects of Climate Change by encouraging a tree planting programme in support and alignment to the initiative of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA).
Since the ACSA Workshop on Environment and Climate Change which was held in September 2011 at Haartebeesport Dam in Pretoria, the bishop of Lesotho the Right Rev. Adam Taaso requested that every Baptismal and Confirmation candidates be the forerunners in the church’s response to this good initiative by planting trees as a symbol of their faith which they will nurture every step of the way throughout their Christian life.
This message of environmental sustainability and climate change management has been well received within the church by all people most of all being the Baptismal and Confirmation candidates planting trees at their respective homes, villages and at church grounds.
Below are a few shots of some confirmation candidates on the occasion of their confirmation at the Cathedral of St Mary and St James in Maseru. These candidates and their other counterparts planted trees along the perimeter of the church and their villages some days before the confirmations.
The Fikelela model offers short term residential care, after which children are placed with supported foster carers. This model is supported by the department of social development and we recently had the chance to present our model at the International Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health which was held in Cape Town.
One of the benefits of this model is the strong link between the centre , the foster carers and the local clinic where the children receive their anti-retroviral medication. It means that if there is a drop in adherence once the children are placed with foster carers (they don't receive their medication on time) this is picked up by the local doctor and Fikelela is able to support the foster carers to improve the way that they give the child their ARVs.
Over the last quarter we have been able to care for 32 children in our short term residential care and 8 children have been place either with foster carers or with extended family members. Over the summer our kids have stayed very healthy and we are coming into the colder season now where we tend to see a few more heath issues arise!!
On a Provincial level the youth have already taken up the challenge !
Provincial Youth Council executives planted two trees at the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. James in Maseru, Lesotho on Sunday 22nd January 2012. They also travelled to Pretoria for their half yearly Exco meeting from 10 to 12th February. On the Sunday the Council joined the worship service at St Pauls in Saulsville in Atteridgeville in Pretoria. After the service a few trees were planted during a tree planting ceremony which was attended by most of the congregation. The congregation was briefed on the reasons for doing this and the youth was encouraged to both nurture these trees as well as to continue the process of planting trees on occasions when we are acutely aware of our carbon emissions and the need to give back to God’s creation in this regard.
Ms Nonhlanhla Shezi, President of PYC, and Tony Lawrence, Provincial Youth Coordinator, travelled to Maseru for meetings with the Diocesan Youth Leaders as well as the Youth Chaplain for Lesotho, Fr Oriel Peko.
After the morning service at the Cathedral, they proceeded to plant the trees in a short ceremony which was also attended by Bishop Adam Taaso as well as the Dean of the Cathedral and members of the congregation.
“We challenge everybody in the Province to make provision in their travels to plant at least one tree (per travelling person) to offset the carbon emissions generated as a result of travelling by plane or car either on official business or any other reason” says Nonhlanhla.