Donato Kivi sm, leader of our Ecology Commission, and Superior of Marist College, Suva, Fiji, sends this report:
Outreach 29th May - Members from the Pacific Conference of Churches Programs Team visiting Marist College.
The PCC programs team have been running the Green Church Project with their member churches in Tuvalu, Kiribati and our Secretariat Office; just recently with Vanuatu and Tonga. This started in 2013 after the 10th PCC General Assembly Meeting in the Solomon Islands.
The initial aim of the project was to promote locally grown food and build healthy families and communities through the various activities associated with backyard gardening to the 'solesolevaki' approach practiced in the i-taukei villages. In 2017, the Green Church Project has expanded its scope of focus from Food Security to Consumerism (Waste Management), Energy Use and Climate Induced Displacement.
Pacific Council of Churches Representatives - Fr Donato 2nd from left
Their visit to Marist College was to see how we are doing perma-culture gardening. Promoting locally grown food and waste management in the area of composting.
19th May - Muanikau community cleaning. The Marist Community helped with the clean-up campaign organized by the Muanikau Police Department. It involved cleaning around Marist College and picking up rubbish along the public road covering about 3 kms.
In March and April, I was working on a paper which was presented in 2018 at the APTO (Association of Practical theology in Oceania) conference on – "Weaving theology in Oceania: Culture, Context and Practice". The papers for this conference are being compiled together at the moment to be published into a book.
At the moment, I am also working on an article to be published in an online journal called Religions with Dr Jacqueline Ryle, a professor at the University of the South Pacific. It is about interweaving theological, ethical and socio-cultural perspectives. The paper discusses how integral ecology, as presented in Laudato Si', Marist spirituality, Fijian understandings of belonging to the land and sea, are interwoven in the visions and development of the Marist Ecological Centre at Dawasamu, Fiji. It explores how these elements interlink with individual spiritual experiences of formators and seminarians engaged in this project. And it discusses opportunities this provides for re-vitalising and transforming traditional ecological consciousness and knowledge in local communities in Fiji and addressing poverty through 'healing the wounded earth'. It has the potential, through Marist mission engagement across the Pacific Island region, to affect ecological conversion in other local communities.
Dr Jacqueline Ryle - University of the South Pacific
Development in Dawasamu (Eco- Centre)
We thank the Marist Mission Centre, Australia, for the funding of the 1.5 kw Solar Project for our Ecological Centre. We have now put to rest our old gasoline generator. Recently, we have bought a refrigerator for the house and we look forward to buy battery operated power tools that can be solar charged as we continue to go green moving away from fossil fuel
Marist Ecology Centre - Dawasamu, north of Suva
At the moment we are working on our water project and the extension of the existing building. During the holiday, the community worked on building the foundation of our 10,000 litter water tank.
We were fortunate to have members of our community, seminarians, who had backgrounds in carpentry, plumbing and masonry to build the foundation for the tank, so we did not have to hire professional builders.