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CARE FOR THE EARTH

Environmental Resource Center

 

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 natural habitats.

 

OBJECTIVE. Embracing 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.

 

ACTIVITIES. The 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:

Education

Seminars, workshops, short courses and open field days for schools, youth groups, women’s groups and farmer’s associations.

Extension Outreach

 

Sensitizing 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.

 

Collaboration

 

Working together with other institutions and agencies to promote sound ecological and socio-economic activities in support of responsible environmental stewardship.

 

On-site, Hands-on Demonstration

 

Healthy maintenance of livestock and honey production. Modeling environmentally friendly methods of growing food crops and general horticultural management.

ACCOMMODATIONS. The 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 house cleaners.

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 mid 2015.

 

By Fr. Bert Ebben, OP

 


 

Justice Preaching Archive

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• A Renewed Call for Nuclear Disarmament •
• A THEOLOGY FOR CARING FOR THE EARTH •
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• A RENEWED CALL TO HEAL A DIVIDED WORLD •
• Call To Persevere In Praying and Working for Peace •
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• Care for the Earth •
• Caritas in Veritate •
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• Sermon On Domestic Violence •
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