Planned Activities re Environment/Ecology 2015 in South Africa
March 3, 2015
Following are our planned activities:
Rosebank Parish, Johannesburg: Mercy participation – Elaine Pearton rsm
Water Week: March
- Sunday: Special liturgy around theme of water – baptism of Jesus, Woman at the Well, etc.
- Monday: - Talk on economical use of water by Rand Water Board employee.
- Wednesday: - Visit a wetland near Johannesburg to pray together and think about ways of rehabilitating the degradation of these wetlands.
- Saturday: - Youth programme with youth visiting water storage areas, examining the infrastructure and putting up drawings on the tanks depicting the wonder of water.
Energy Month: May:
- Work with the Ecology Group of Justice and Peace Group of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. They have given us a plan for the saving of power by various means, especially solar power.
- An expert in the field has been invited to run a workshop on energy saving devices and how to use them properly. The motivation will be to show how much money they will save each month. We feel this speaks louder than the good this does to the environment which is, of course, our real aim.
- We plan to get five families to commit to this programme by the end of the year.
Follow-up on 2014 projects:
- Family assistance: We discovered last year that 20 families are “squatting” (living illegally) on the edge of a disused mine which is an AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) site near Krugersdorp – 45 mins from Johannesburg and part of the Archdiocese. The radiation level is higher than Chernoble. The people, many of whom have cancer and all of whom have sick children, didn’t want to move as they had nowhere to go. We have managed to get the municipality to grant them some ground further away from the mine and the mining group have agreed to close off the area and rehabilitate the land. We will be following up on these promises.
- Vegetable Gardens: Beneficiaries of our St. Vincent de Paul group will be encouraged to start planting their own vegetable gardens rather than depend on handouts each month. This will help them to appreciate our mother, the earth, and to be grateful for her generosity.
- The Rosebank Homeless Association, of which I am a member, intends requesting land from the municipality for homeless people in the area to grow their own vegetables. This type of gardening relies on biodegradable refuse as compost and will thus help to reduce the rubbish levels in the areas where they sleep. We have started a campaign in the local churches for donations of seeds and tools.
Other Mercy projects for 2015
- Continue motivation for recycling in our schools, communities, etc. This has been and will continue to be an important part of our ecology outreach programmes. A group of women that we work with earn a living by sorting refuse at a refuse dump into plastics, paper, etc. which is then sold to provide income for their families.
- Ongoing promotion of sustainable vegetable gardening in Winterveldt with beneficiaries of our feeding scheme and patients who attend Mercy Clinic.
- Planting of trees, donated by the Soroptomists of South Africa, in Winterveldt which is a very dry area.
- Will be developing a simple teaching tool to be used by the youth leaders, trained last year, to share what they have learnt with the members of their youth groups. These are the young people who experienced the wonders of creation by walking the beach, meditating under trees and walking our living labyrinth. When we did our site visits all the leaders asked for a method to share this experience with their groups.
Messages to: Marilyn Brown rsm