Alex Jiran and Dwana Andrew shared what they have learnt from the Laudato Si in Action Workshop in Bangalore India on 21-25 May 2017.
“The programme has made me realise and become caring towards issues of politics, economy, education, culture and social especially in Malaysia and their importance in relation to taking care of our common home,” said Jiran while admitting that this was his most valuable experience in IMCS.
“As youth of Asia Pacific, we were taught to always voice out justice and world peace as written in the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church,” he continued.
He added, “We were exposed to using Sample Web, a methodology to find causes of complex climate change and how to find ways to solve them.”
He committed himself to do three things: not to waste food, eating less meat and to act now.
Jiran said that on going back to KK, he decided to do research in the local context on the three critical issues discussed in the 2015 PAX Assembly but first he has to “be close to God’s Word and the church social teaching before taking any practical steps.”
He realised the need to change from Ego to Eco in order to understand one’s relationship with the environment. For that change to happen, one needs to be closer to Jesus and to learn who He is.
“Through a close relationship with Jesus, I’m confident that I’m able to continue to be caring towards all issues affecting the environment,” he said.
Jiran also expressed his hope to learn and adopt Laudato Si’ In Action and Docat because these two books “help me to see the world’s environment while taking into consideration all current happenings and issues.”
For Dwana Andrew, she wants to start with small actions such as reading up on materials related to the environment and the Laudato Si’ document for reflection.
She said that the representatives have their chance to share on the environmental condition of their country and it turns out that climate change is inevitable and has become more critical.
Andrew cited Laudato Si’ 22: “Our earth is ‘crying in pain’ while we, humans, act like we know nothing and pay no attention to the cries. Human ego which wants more things than are needed causes waste. With the surpluses, it leads to throwaway culture.”
She said one has to make “conscious effort to start thinking critically and to take interest and care.”
Andrew said that Mark Rasquinha, a young lecturer at the University of India, told the participants that the usage of social media is the most effective approach to start.
“We were taught to start with ‘small voice’ in the social media. We have the opportunity to learn to explain, in depth, about a picture with maximum 160 words,” she said.
She committed herself to five acts: to save energy, to finish food on her plate, to avoid unnecessary printing such as minutes, agenda, working paper, and to minimise the usage of plastic bags in shopping and to bring her own container when buying food.