CARE FOR THE EARTH
DESCRIPTION. Care for
the Earth (CFE) is a community based environmental center,
registered with the Ministry of Culture and Social Services, located
in Rarieda District, 50 kilometers west of Kisumu, Kenya.
CFE’s 10-acre plot
includes an arboretum of indigenous and exotic species, fruit and
vegetable gardens, a variety of livestock, and a classroom with four
separate cottages for small group seminars. These facilities are
fully utilized in programs to educate rural citizens on
environmental issues for the well-being and health of the local
community and, indeed, of the entire country.
VISION. CFE is
inspired and guided by two basic truths: 1) "The earth is the Lord’s
and all it holds, the world and those who live there" (Ps.24:1). We
do not own creation but we are stewards of God’s creation,
commissioned to protect and care for it, thereby enabling the earth
to sustain humanity and all living things. 2) Since all living
things are vitally interconnected, we understand that the threat of
global warming is a life issue and, therefore, central to
responsible environmental stewardship.
MISSION. The Center
endeavors to challenge all ethnic groups in Kenya to a profound
conversion regarding everything that threatens the well being of our
beautiful planet Earth. The Center will assist Kenyans themselves to
form an effective constituency for a national policy change by
supporting legislation to reduce pollution, foster sustainable use
of natural resources and ensure respectful care of wildlife and its
its vision and committed to its mission, CFE is dedicated to
revitalizing Africa’s traditional understanding of, and appreciation
for, Mother Earth and our relationship with her. The restoration of
this basic core value is designed to instill a deeper awareness of
the environment with a consequent turnabout in attitudes and action.
Center will achieve this objective by helping to shape personal
lives in creation-friendly ways, such as encouraging the practice of
effective recycling, conserving natural resources and celebrating
the joy of communion with nature.
To inspire all
participants to become actively engaged in this objective, CFE
provides the following program activities:
short courses and open field days for schools, youth groups, women’s
groups and farmer’s associations.
local communities to the need to work with nature to
provide their basic needs, e.g. harvesting water, soil
conservation, non-toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
together with other institutions and agencies to promote
sound ecological and socio-economic activities in
support of responsible environmental stewardship.
maintenance of livestock and honey production. Modeling
environmentally friendly methods of growing food crops
and general horticultural management.
Center is well equipped to house up to 30 students for week or two
week training programs.. A good kitchen and large dining hall can
serve 100 participants for one-day seminars and workshops.
BRIEF HISTORY OF CFE.
"Care for the Earth" was initiated 15 years ago through the efforts
of Dominican Friar, Bert Ebben, O.P. in collaboration with three
young Kenyans, two men and one woman, all professionally trained in
methods of sustainable farming. Cassim Wafula Bilali, one of the
original founders, continues as the present director of CFE.
CFE has been remarkably
successful in responding to the needs of the local village farmers,
especially in the areas of food security and agro-forestry programs.
For example, two hundred families are now raising dairy goats and
another one hundred fifty are producing honey, thanks, of course, to
the bees! More recently the villagers are enthusiastically
responding to tree planting programs, both to promote clean
environment and as a "cash crop".
Except for a few early
grants totaling approximately $50,000, the entire project of close
to one million USD was financed through charitable contributions,
solicited primarily through the efforts of Father Bert Ebben.
CFE employs 15 salaried
local Kenyans: administrators, farm workers, teachers, cooks and
The present vehicle (1997
Toyota 4X4 pickup) is completely out of commission and no longer
serviceable. If the project succeeds in finding a resource to
purchase a new vehicle, it would become fully self-sustainable by
By Fr. Bert Ebben,