IYCS Care for Our Common Home Digital Exchange 

2021 marked the sixth anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the Careof Our Common Home. The 2021 celebration was marked by a crown event of the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year, a celebration of the significant progress the Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. The 2021 Laudato Si’ Week was also a time to reflect on what the COVID-19 pandemic taught us and prepare for the future with hope. The theme for the year, “for we know that things can change” (LS 13), aligned with the IYCS commitment to promoting the urgency and importance of caring for our common home and working towards bringing Laudato Si’ to Life.

IYCS celebrated the Laudato Si’s sixth anniversary by hosting a digital exchange to provide a platform for National Movements to exhibit their initiatives, share lessons learned, and exchange ideas on good practices to mitigate the impact of human actions on the environment while continuing to care for the environment in the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event also provided an opportunity to hear testimonies from student leaders from different countries who shared their experiences in the fight to protect our typical home amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic and its impact on their lives. Here are some of the local initiatives shared by national Movements;

JEC Guinea:

  1. Environmental Protection: Conducted activities like Banares Beach Cleaning in Conakry.
  2. Boffa Pilgrimage: Ensured proper waste disposal during the pandemic in 2021.

UNEC Peru:

  1. Participated in the Economy of Francesco congress, a space convened by Pope Francis in 2019 to promote a human centered and environmentally friendly economy.
  2. Climate Finance Collaboration: Highlighted engagement in climate finance for Latin America.

Bangalore, India (Former YCS Asia Chaplain):

  1. Plant a Tree Campaign: Incorporated tree planting as a requirement for youth group membership.
  2. Earth Day 2021: Organized a month-long campaign, planting 3,000 trees and Earth Day awards.

YCS Uganda:

  1. Tree Planting and Seedling Distribution: Planted over 84,500 trees, integrating them into YCS events.
  2. Environmental Walk: Annual walk spreading Laudato Si messages and ecological training.

YCS Sri Lanka:

  1. Green Revolution Campaign: Initiated under Pope Francis’ Laudato Si to protect the common home.

JEC Benin:

  1. Eco Footing Project: Contributed actively to the “Operation zero bags in nature” project.

JEC Lebanon:

  1. Environment Awareness Day: Raised awareness through activities, games, and home visits in a farming village.

YCS Zambia:

  1. Keep Clean Campaign: Conducted cleaning exercises at various schools, churches, and communities.

JEC Madagascar (Tampikri):

  1. Reforestation and Goodwill Activities: Engaged in mass tree planting and environmental cleanups.

These initiatives reflect a commitment to environmental sustainability, community engagement, and the principles of Laudato Si, contributing to a global movement for positive change.

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