IYNIGO Youth Network Embarks on Tree Planting Exercise
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Ignatian Youth Networks Initiating Generational Outcomes – IYNIGO for short – constitutes networks of young people between the ages of 18 to 35 who seek to imbibe Ignatian spirituality and are dedicated to becoming initiators of processes that yield results of enduring significance.
As the world continues to battle climate change and its rippling effects, there has been the need for urgent attention to be drawn to the need to care for the environment.
It is against this background that Pope Francis through an encyclical letter, Laudato Si’ appealed to the people of the world to be more concerned about caring for the environment.
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the letter, the Ignitian Youth Network, (IYNIGO), an Arrupe Jesuit Institute youth empowerment movement in Ghana held a Holy Mass and a Tree planting exercise to climax the Laudato Si week.
The week marked universally started on May 16 and ended on May 24, 2020.
The two events which were held together at a site belonging to the Jesuit Fathers of Ghana at Atomic Hills on Sunday, May 24, was attended by almost 20 volunteers of the youth group.
It was aimed at promoting environmental sustainability which happens to be one of the main goals of the Youth Network.
Interacting with Newswatchgh.com, the Founding Director of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute, Rev. Fr. Kpanie Addy, SJ urged the youth to be more conscious of the environment which he said was a common home for all.
He averred that the Holy Father’s call ”helps to understand that the earth as our common home is not only a Christian understanding but even more universal in scope,” adding that “for us, as African Christians, it resonates strongly with our primal cultures and religious outlook.
“The earth is a mother to us, to us all as “Asaase Yaa”. And every child worth the name takes care of his or her mother in appreciation of the care he or she has received from the mother,” he said.
He stated that the initiative by the youth group is remarkable for various reasons, stating that ”The day’s events were auspicious as it climaxes the Laudato Si Week 2020, five years since the encyclical was issued.”
According to him, “But for us Jesuits in Ghana, it was auspicious also since it was the first time for us to celebrate Holy Mass on our property on Atomic Hills, at the place earmarked as the future permanent site of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute.”
”We prayed and planted seedlings, believing that just as the seedlings will grow into full maturity over time, so also by our prayers and hard work of nurturing, the mission of the Jesuits in Ghana, particularly of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute, will grow and fully mature over the course of time,” he opined.
The President of IYNIGO, Scholastica Barimah, described the event as a groundbreaking one that sets the platform for many of such activities with a focus on caring for the environment.
”It is an undeniable fact that planting of trees is of much value and importance to the world,” she said, saying that “to IYNIGO, the tree planting exercise we had will help nature in mitigating global warming for the future of our children and to have a clean and safe environment for the next generation to come,” Miss Scholastica said.
She added that “the trees we planted plays a vital role in the history of IYNIGO in the sense that yesterday was the first time Holy Mass and a Tree planting exercise was held on the Jesuit land at Atomic hills, it was indeed a groundbreaking one and I am very happy to be a part of it.”
“All the trees we planted were fruits and personally, am a lover of fruits so it will be of much value to me, the group, and many others at large,” she said.
Touching on how the group intends to sustain the drive for the care for the environment, Miss Scholastica stated that members of the IYNIGO has decided to constantly remind themselves of the need to ensure that it contributes its bit towards making the earth a better place.
She added that Holy Mass will be held once every month accompanied by a tree planting exercise as well as continue to care for previously planted trees.
”The group will have Holy Mass every month at the tree planting site as well as care for the plants.
Also we have a wonderful caretaker who has assured us of looking after the plants and watering it every other day,” she said.
The Special Laudato Si’ year long Anniversary celebrations commenced from May, 24, 2020 and to be climaxed May 24, 2021.