Caring for the Environment, "God's Magnificent Gift to Us"

During Pope Francis’s first speech upon his visit to the United States on Wednesday, he made it clear that the environment should be a top priority.

“When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history,” Pope Francis said.

Tree seedlings grow inside of a nursery in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tree seedlings grow inside of a nursery in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Barack Obama acknowledged the pope’s passion for the environment, saying that ”you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet, God’s magnificent gift to us. We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to changing climate, and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.”

 

The environment is something Food for the Hungry also cares deeply about.

Take for example, our programming in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 2011, FH has been implementing environmental programming that targets vulnerable households and promotes sustainable farming methods. The program distributes quality seeds and small livestock to increase animal and plant production. Additionally, the program provided for the reforestation of nearly 75 acres of land in the Nkaga village in December 2012.

Barhabula Ngwarhiro Ntondero is the president of the Nkaga Village Reforestation Management Committee.

“My wife, my two daughters and my son have witnessed the wonders of the trees on this hill,” Barhabula said. “The trees are still very young but we already we are already enjoying the benefits.”

Barhabula says the reforestation of the land has created a better environment that even protects against bush fires, meaning straw is more easily accessible for the community’s households. This is important because straw is used for roofing homes and as flooring within the homes. Without access to good straw in the community, families had to pay large sums of money to import straw, 250% more than they spend on straw within the community.

Barhabula Ngwarhiro Ntondero is the president of the Nkaga Village Reforestation Management Committee.

Barhabula Ngwarhiro Ntondero is the president of the Nkaga Village Reforestation Management Committee.

“The initiative to plant trees protects our environment and our pockets because it helps to save money in small things,” Barhabula said.”

The financial benefit means families in the community can save their money for other things, such as their children’s education. The reforested land also creates a healthier environment.

“Today when we walk around in this wood, the air we breathe is good. These trees are as beautiful to look at and we know that when our trees are fully grown, it will be a great asset to my community,” Barhabula said. “The trees in this hill are God-sent for me and my family.”

You can help look after the world God gave us, and the communities that are most vulnerable to adverse environmental effects. Click here to find out more information.


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