In early March the newest member of the IJM team, Tim Flynn, visited the Jesuit-run Radio Kwizera in Ngara, a small town in the Kagera region of Western Tanzania. It was a nostalgic visit for Tim, who spent a year working as a volunteer at the station, 16 years ago.
Energy efficient stoves in use in a village in Malawi
The Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development (JCED) in Malawi is distributing locally made fuel-efficient ceramic cooking stoves, known as chitetezo mbaula, among poor households in the Kasungu District of Malawi. Traditionally, these households use a three-stone fireplace for cooking and heating water, but due to uncontrolled air circulation, firewood burns quickly, and huge quantities of smoke are emitted causing breathing problems to women and girls who cook the food for the family.
Grade 10 student Gino Suldahan shares to his fellow Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) students his reflection about climate change and how indigenous culture contributes to climate change mitigation. This was part of the week-long participation of APC, an upland indigenous school in Bukidnon, Philippines, in the first Global School Strike for Climate in 15 March 2019.
Last week, I was with a community forest team that visited the farthest villages to the north in the Pulangi Valley in Mindanao, Philippines. We spent the days in constant rain, riding motorbikes, bamboo rafts, and wading through rivers often waist-deep to get to the communities. We listened to people talk about safe water, organic farming, or getting their kids to school in places called Ananasu and other villages that are only found on the maps we produce.
A man in Kasungu, Malwi carries firewood on his bike.
Our communications officer, Martina Madden visited the Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development in Malawi in December to find out how it promotes environmental integrity while ensuring that local communities have a livelihood they can depend on.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, where more than half of the population live below the poverty line, and a quarter live in extreme poverty. Its economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which employs nearly 80% of the population. These smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to the erratic weather patterns caused by climate change. If the rains come too early or too late, crops cannot be planted or do not survive long enough to be harvested. This affects the farmers’ yields and the availability of food.
A woman works at the Multi Agricultural Jesuit Institute of South Sudan (MAJIS)
Social Networks in South Sudan
Though barely 10 years old as an independent nation after seceding from Sudan in 2011, peace has remained an illusion in South Sudan. The tough stance and reluctance by the political elites to work together for the sake of building the young nation continues to render South Sudan volatile, unstable, and insecure. Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to lose their lives and millions are displaced. Due to economic challenges bedeviling the young nation, most of the people survive on support from humanitarian agencies and church institutions.