Eco Marist project, Cameroon, Africa

Luigi-Albert-2 Fr Luigi Salvodelli sm & Albert Kabala sm

Fr Albert Kabala sm, District Superior of Africa, writes: The creation of the agricultural project at Nkoloman in the heart of the central African forest in Cameroon, by the African Marist District started in 2015 by the buying 5 hectares of land. Till date we have planted 7,000 plants of cocoa, 13,000 plants of banana plantains, 75 fruit trees (oranges, plums, avocado, pawpaw) in addition we have a vegetable garden, pineapple farm, a poultry farm, cocoa, yams, maize, sweet potatoes and a fish farm (2,200 three species of fish) where we are using natural methods respecting nature and without chemical products. We have started a well for drinkable water at the farm.

"One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor. Every day, unsafe water results in many deaths and the spread of water-related diseases, including those caused by microorganisms and chemical substances." (Laudato Si, 29). We have succeeded to put a solar panel for electricity supply in the farm. 

Please scroll on the gallery below to see more pictures

The objectives of this project concern youth. It is all about training and initiating these youths on manual work, to make them interested in the biological/organic techniques so that they may be financially independent, create jobs for people so they can cater for their family so as to overcome the cost of life and poverty in Yaoundé, by so doing, we can fight against migration of youths to the West. 

""Every campesino has a natural right to possess a reasonable allotment of land where he can establish his home, work for subsistence of his family and a secure life. This right must be guaranteed so that its exercise is not illusory but real. That means that apart from the ownership of property, rural people must have access to means of technical education, credit, insurance, and markets"." (Laudato si, 94)

This project is in response to Pope Francis' encyclical letter "Laudato si" No 13-14 " The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world's poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: "Everyone's talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God's creation". [22] All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents."

The Marist Fathers of the District of Africa have chosen to go towards the poorest at the periphery of Yaoundé in the midst of the young people. This choice is specifically in the heart of the forest, which is without potable water nor a good access road. The population make a living essentially through farming in precarious conditions and most young people do not have a good education. The urgency now is to train youths. As Pope Francis says in N°15 of Laudato Si :"Finally, convinced as I am that change is impossible without motivation and a process of education" and with our Marist education tradition, we are thinking to add to this project a component of theoretical learning in agricultural technology if we manage to build a few rooms on the site of the field. With the rooms, young people will learn and so, they will no longer be tempted by illegal immigration to the West.

Albert Kabala sm


Bridging the gap
Lent, meat and planet
 

Comments 5

Guest - Paul Walsh on Monday, 11 March 2019 09:59

this is a great initiative, the fruit of a huge amount of work and organisation, as well as a powerful vision. thank you for sharing this with us. I am sure it will encourage others to see the possibilities around us for improving the quality of life for the young and the poor, especially in areas prone to massive pressure to emigrate due to lack of viable alternatives for making a living. Well done

this is a great initiative, the fruit of a huge amount of work and organisation, as well as a powerful vision. thank you for sharing this with us. I am sure it will encourage others to see the possibilities around us for improving the quality of life for the young and the poor, especially in areas prone to massive pressure to emigrate due to lack of viable alternatives for making a living. Well done
Guest - Bruce Lery, sm on Monday, 11 March 2019 18:07

Linking Environmental Consciousnee/Laudato Si with Empowerment of Youth/Education, you make us proud!

Linking Environmental Consciousnee/Laudato Si with Empowerment of Youth/Education, you make us proud!
Guest - James Carty on Monday, 11 March 2019 19:40

Tres Bien! Indeed an excellent initiative- the problem of water access and potability are major problems, not only in developing nations but in drought plagued places like Australia! So its a double problem- underdevelopment and over development, especially here. Over 1million fish died in one of our major river system that has just dried up- and thousands of cattle have died, ironically from too much water in the wrong place. We have failed to learn from the First people of this nation who lived, farmed and fished very successfully for over 60,000 years.
I just googled "water in the Cameroon" and here is the title of one study:
"Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Access to Drinking-water and Associated Health Risks in Cameroon!" Too technical for me-but just to say there is a problem. Keep digging and planting. Fraternally.


Tres Bien! Indeed an excellent initiative- the problem of water access and potability are major problems, not only in developing nations but in drought plagued places like Australia! So its a double problem- underdevelopment and over development, especially here. Over 1million fish died in one of our major river system that has just dried up- and thousands of cattle have died, ironically from too much water in the wrong place. We have failed to learn from the First people of this nation who lived, farmed and fished very successfully for over 60,000 years. I just googled "water in the Cameroon" and here is the title of one study: "Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Access to Drinking-water and Associated Health Risks in Cameroon!" Too technical for me-but just to say there is a problem. Keep digging and planting. Fraternally.
Guest - Paul Frechette on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 13:15

I agree with my brothers above, Albert Kabala SM in the Cameroons and his team have articulated a Gospel Vision (and Pope Francis as well Laudato Si! No. 13-14) and shown some great local leadership , to implement this vision into reality!. it is my favorite blog of this year , so far! Albert, please continue to write about this project in the weeks ahead. Surely there are more stories in this amazing project! And I love the photos, a picture is worth a 1000 words!

I agree with my brothers above, Albert Kabala SM in the Cameroons and his team have articulated a Gospel Vision (and Pope Francis as well Laudato Si! No. 13-14) and shown some great local leadership , to implement this vision into reality!. it is my favorite blog of this year , so far! Albert, please continue to write about this project in the weeks ahead. Surely there are more stories in this amazing project! And I love the photos, a picture is worth a 1000 words!
Guest - Paul Frechette on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 14:43

Part II For years we in the Society of Mary heard about the Marist Training Center, Tutu, Taveuni, Fiji, and rightly so. Rafa Qalovi SM loved this project and worked there for some years. Many young Fijians studied and learned how to grow crops for their livelihood. An awesome project!
And now we hear of a similar project but on the other side of the Globe! These are real signs of life and growth for our African region! Congratulations Albert!

Part II For years we in the Society of Mary heard about the Marist Training Center, Tutu, Taveuni, Fiji, and rightly so. Rafa Qalovi SM loved this project and worked there for some years. Many young Fijians studied and learned how to grow crops for their livelihood. An awesome project! And now we hear of a similar project but on the other side of the Globe! These are real signs of life and growth for our African region! Congratulations Albert!
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Sunday, 25 August 2019