The following text is the extended speech by Mercy Munene, PaRD Steering Group member and Core Team Member with the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), held on 31 October 2022 at PaRD’s Annual Forum on Religion and Sustainable Development 2022.
dear members and leadership of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD),
dear guests of PaRD’s Annual Forum 2022,
In an era where humanity has so much power with all the technical advancements, PaRD has managed to bring the government, civil society, faith-based organisations (FBOs) and academia on one table where they partner to address the climate crisis from a faith perspective. In doing so, we see PaRD as an umbrella that gives a central point of contact for all those forces to listen to the voices of young people.
Where young people are demanding change as depicted in Laudato Si, the partnership between the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) and PaRD has brought the voices of young people – especially those from Africa – to the table with an aim of driving this change.
We are all united by similar concerns affecting our common home, exploring just how much faith can advance development. PaRD’s Work-Streams have effectively impacted change by promoting social justice and enhancing the principle of common good and subsidiarity. With the Laudato Si, Catholic Social Teachings and the Scriptures inspiring CYNESA’s work, our role in advocating for Care for our common home has been enhanced in our engagement in the WECARE Work-Stream of PaRD and my service as a member of PaRD’s Steering Group. It is in these platforms that intergenerational dialogue has been enhanced and partnerships formed.
Ultimately, PaRD has created a platform for growth and learning for young people. It has brought and continues to bring the voices of young people of faith to the table, hence advancing the intergenerational dialogue.
Looking forward to engaging with you all during this forum, I am looking forward to learning, building more partnerships and moving to the ground where organisations like CYNESA engage in local grassroots action in addressing the climate crisis. I am also inviting you all to pay attention to the diversity in the room throughout our engagements and create more spaces for young people to drive the impact you are aiming to make within your organisations.