A week-long Summer School workshop which was organized by the University of Perugia of the Archdiocese of Perugia and Friends of Malawi in Italy through the Social Development’s Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) ended on Friday (today) at Msamba Pastoral Centre in Lilongwe.The Summer School Workshop drew together participants from different sectors of ECM including Bishops,Catholic Secretariat and Diocesan Staff members mainly from CADECOM; academicians and students drawn from the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA) and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource (LUANAR) and government officials.
Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi officially opened the workshop on Monday.
In his speech, Archbishop Msusa said the workshop was timely as it was in line with what World Leaders agreed in 2015 to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals as global development aspirations for the period 2015-2030.
He said Sustainable Development Goals are development aspirations which do not only seek to meet the development needs of the present generation but also promote the utilization of the natural resources and the entire ecosystem to meet the needs of the next generation.
“That means;we do not only think of what is good for me,for us today……but we also think of our future children…. the next generation,that’s the way of being human,”he said.
According to His Grace Msusa, the international Summer School which was aimed at addressing the Sustainable Management and Promotion of Territory resonates well with the Holy Father’s Encyclical called LaudatoSi,on the Care of our Common Home.
He said the impacts of Climate Change have not only hit hard on the agricultural production,but worse still the production machinery is heavily affected.
“Therefore,protection of the environmental resources,landscape,Bio-diversity would need to be taken seriously,”said Msusa who is the Archbishop of Blantyre Archdiocese.
For his part,Director of Crop Development in the Ministry of Agriculture,Irrigation and Water Development,Dr. Godfrey Ching’oma commended the Malawi Catholic Church through its developmetarm,CADECOM for the role it plays in protecting the environment,promoting food security and empowering communities with various strategies to improve their livelihood.
Ching’oma encouraged the Catholic Church to put into practice the recommendations to be agreed upon after the workshop hence share with his Ministry and promised to act upon them accordingly.
Facilitators of the workshop included Professor Adriano Ciani from the Department of Agricultural,Foods and Environmental Sciences at the University of Perugia,Mr. TamaniNkhono-Mvula from Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) and Dr. David Mkwabisi from LUANAR.
A representative of Friends of Malawi in the Archdiocese of Perugia,LaraTaglieri said her organization which has been working in Malawi for the past 30 years especially in Zomba Diocese where they have some projects.
“For instance,we have nursery schools, Thondwe Technical College,Medical Centre and Pilimitihospital,all in the diocese of Zomba.Thats why we also thought of collaborating with Professor Ciani in this program of Summer School,” she said.
Professor Ciani said the workshop has been interesting,exciting and important hence feels ECM through CADECOM will come up with a road map to addressing effects of climate change in Malawi and become a shining example to the rest of Africa.
Over 50 members including Archbishops Tarcizious Ziyaye,Msusa and Bishop Peter Musikuwa,MontfortStima attended the Summer School workshop.