On Saturday, June 8, 2019, we hosted an Interfaith Youth Forum under the theme “Faith for Earth, Vijana in Action” in partnership with initiative of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa (JPIC FA) to encourage inter-religious tolerance and care of the environment to the youth.
Some of the speakers at the event were: Dr. Joseph Okumu, Rev. Prof Peter Gichure (Acting DVC academic affairs), Sheikh Muhammad Khan(Guest), Rukia Ahmed (motivational youth speaker), Sr. Gladys Mititi (Capuchin TV) and Javan Ofula (CUEA). Many schools were also represented by a number of students from Starehe Boys, Precious Blood Riruta and Mother of Mercy, Ngarariga Girls Secondary.
The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Mustafa Genc who is a Peace Advocate.
''The future of the world will be very bright, peaceful and brilliant if well conserved”, said Mr. Mustafa. He was looking forward for the upcoming tree planting day that will be conducted on 14th June where 500 trees will be planted to secure the coming generations.
Rev. Prof. Peter Gichure, Ag. DVC Academic affairs, said, ‘nobody should be discriminated upon. We should have a humanitarian concern by caring for our neighbors who need our help as we do things in the right way''.
''Be accountable and responsible so that in the future people don't describe you with what you have but what you are, your intelligence should mould you”, he urged the youths.
Sheikh Muhammad Khan (the chief guest), while addressing the youth said,” it is time for us to take our position, time to prove that we are worth it, time for us to unite against people who divide us based on tribe, time for us to address environmental change such as misuse of resources. Religion is not a form of worship but a life style. Therefore, we have to address it in our life time”. He further urged the youths to and to stand up and claim their space.
Sr. Mary Wangari Sebastian in her speech reminded the young people that we were all created in God’s image ‘whether Christian, Jew or Muslim”.
Talking of Mother Earth Network, she noted that guided by the Franciscans, it has a vision of making religions to come together and share together for each other. “If you nurture nature it will nurture you, if you destroy the environment it will destroy you”, she said.
The students actively participated in a tree planting exercise during the lunch hour break. A number of trees were planted and the students also conduct a cleanup and awareness to communities around CUEA.