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Catholic students' movement launches Sustainable lifestyles campaign

environment clean upThe National Movement of Catholic Students (NMCS) Zimbabwe a member of the International Movement of Catholic Students launched a campaign on sustainable lifestyles aimed at popularising ideas developed in Pope Francis' Laudato Si and encouraging young people to be actively involved in them.

This campaign is part of a major youth clean up exercise organised in partnership with Team up- to clean up Mbare group.

The clean-up and awareness campaign was conducted in various Mbare communities in a bid to reduce littering and advocate for environmental care. Over fifty members of the movement teamed up with several youths who have made commitment to adopt sustainable lifestyles.

The campaign further urges people to create plastic free zones, avoid food wastage, buy local foods, making public transport a priority and embracing cycling. It also encourages people to prepare their own meals, phase out fossil fuel use and to generally adopt sustainable living.

During the clean-up exercise, participants engaged in picking up litter, unclogging water drainages, collecting plastics, metal cans and other environmentally  unfriendly materials.

Quoting Pope Francis, "Let us be the protectors of the creation of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment". Pope Francis believes that young people have what it takes to mobilize each other in bringing significant change within the society, in environmental protection, and in being missionaries of mercy. He speaks about the 'throwaway' culture that has affected the environment and people including the elderly and the poor as they are discarded as waste.

Tinotenda Wakabikwa, National movement of Catholic Students (NMCS) President encouraged the youth to take the responsibility to keep the environment clean and also to give awareness to the people in various communities. He said, "We need to correct our past errors as students and proactively prevent further pollution of our environment".

Kudzai Madzamba, the Vice President of NMCS, said the group's action campaign aims at raising awareness for students and the community to be responsible in maintaining the environment. She appealed to all youths with capacity to support similar student campaigns to come on board in order to work towards a sustainable and clean environment.

The campaign is one of the movement's action plans for the year following a series of discussions on environment, global warming and climate change issues inspired by the Pope's encyclical on environment, Laudato Si.

By Margaret Mikiri | Jesuits Zimbabwe-Mozambique

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