Mr. Manik Willver D'Costa
Pastoral Coordinator, Archdiocese of Chittagong

A TOT (training of trainers) on ‘Laudato Si’ handbook (a trainers’ guide) is held on 24-25 April 2019 at Survodaya, St. Pius College Campus, Mumbai. It was a South Asia training workshop for catechists. A delegation team of two members namely Manik Willver D’Costa from Chattogram and George Chisim from Mymensingh participated in the workshop. The event was organized by the FABC OHD office.

A session in the TOT training on 'Laodato Si' Handbook
A session in the TOT training on ‘Laodato Si’ Handbook

The handbook named ‘Laudato Si, in continuum the Asian outreach’ is distributed among the participants which is jointly published by FABC OHD, Archdiocesan Office for Environment Mumbai and CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and includes 15 chapters. The handbook was the main training material. Faculty of Xavier’s Institute of Communication Prof. Luke Mendes gave a brief introduction of the handbook on how to use it.

Sessions and resource persons respectively were: Introduction to Laudato Si- Bishop Alwyn D’Silva (Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay & Secretary of Climate Change Desk, FABC OHD); Earth and You- Mr. Luke Mendes; Food- Ms. Pamel Fernandes (Coordinator of Justice & Peace Commission, Mumbai); Carbon Foot Print- Ms. Shawna Rebello; Stealing from the Next Generation- Ms. Deepika Singh (Coordinator of FABC OHD); Family and Media- Fr. Vincent D’Cruz and Reclaiming Our Roots- Mr. Luke Mendes. There were also four mock sessions on Water, Eco Systems, Livelihood and Social Economy. There was a nice morning prayer session of ‘nature walk’.

A session in the TOT training on 'Laodato Si' Handbook
A session in the TOT training on ‘Laodato Si’ Handbook

The summary of the workshop is: The planet we live on is Alive. What makes life possible here is, WATER. It took around 4.5 billion years for the planet to create this fine balance of life. In the modern world ‘Need’ is replaced by ‘Greed’. There is plenty for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. We have turned plunderers, instead of being trustees of the earth. If we continue the plunder and reckless exploitation of the earth’s resources and her ecosystems, there will be water wars and food shortage soon. It will take a few million years for the earth to revive all over again, much after we are gone extinct, the earth will revive. Sadly, we humans won’t be here. But still there is hope. We can begin the process of healing the earth. We need to know the basic ways to reverse the damage we have done to this planet, and begin the healing process of the planet’s ecosystems and ourselves.

At the country group discussion, Bangladesh delegation team focused on the following points and proposals.

Mr. Manik Willver D'Costa in a discussion with the group
Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa in a discussion- TOT training on ‘Laudato Si’ Handbook

KEY ISSUES

  • Conservation of Water
  • Conservation of Natural Resources, especially Gas
  • Reforestation

WHAT CAN BE DONE

Personal:

  • Assessment of personal uses of water and cutting down the wastes at the minimum level.
  • Cutting down of natural gas uses.
  • Roof top gardening.

Family:

  • Family resolution for conserving natural resources, especially water and gas.
  • Eco education.
  • Dinner table discussion on the issue.
  • Joining or creating ‘green’ or ‘eco’ groups at the neighbourhood.

Parish:

  • Initiating the ‘Ecology Society’.
  • Awareness building of teachers who are able to educate mass people.
  • Awareness building of children who can motivate family members easily.
  • Networking with the existing ‘green’ and ‘eco’ movements.

Diocese:

  • Incorporating the issue with the pastoral and strategical plans.
  • Establishment of ‘Climate Change Commission/ Desk’.
  • Organizing diocesan synod on ‘Laudato Si’.

National:

  • Inclusion of the climate change issue in the general pastoral plan.
  • Establishment of ‘Climate Change Office’.
  • Networking with national level existing ‘green’ and ‘eco’ movements.

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