Living ecology in Nazareth Formation House in Kenya
Living ecology in Nazareth Formation House in Kenya
Testimony of Sr. Furaha, Sr. Gertrudes & sr. Florence (Consolata Missionary Sisters) living in a Formation House in Nazareth, Kenya
“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs ”.
It is from the above words of St. Francis of Assisi who reminds us of our deep inseparable connection with our mother nature, that challenged as a community and congregation to awake in us a more caring attitude towards our common home. The encyclical letter of Pope Francis, Laudato si’ becomes another provocative and encouraging source for embracing the care and concern for the mother nature. Thus, as formative community could not give a deaf ear to the cry of the nature and willingly felt called to transmit this challenge to young people who are preparing themselves to be the future missionaries. Therefore, as we share how we responded to the challenge in a more practical and concrete way, we recognize the sisters who initially and courageously embrace a new way doing things which may not be as easy as getting ready made products from the globalized market. We shall begin by sharing our understanding of ecology.
When we talk or think of Ecology it means we talk/think about the relationships which is there between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Some define ecology as the study of organisms and how they interact with the environment around them . Hence, an ecological house respects the environment that surrounds it. Yes, then how do we go about it?
In Nazareth formation house of the Consolata Missionary sisters in Kenya where initial formation for the young ladies who desire prepare themselves to be missionaries take place, ecology and general attention to the surrounding environment goes hand to hand with their formation program.
The community installed Solar panels to make use of the sun which is there and also it uses Bio Gas. The motive for this is to help the young people to learn how to value and use well the products which comes from the nature and give back to the nature for its use too. Above all it is healthy and economical, it reduces the cost of electricity and gas for cooking. This on the other hand gives the community to share with those in most need around us. The Biogas is used for cooking and it is prepared from the cow dung. The community relies on it 100 % for their cooking and a few times uses firewood stove.
Our driving force to maintain this ecological harmony comes from the realization and the experience of God reflected in all this co-existence.
By nature, the geographic climate of Nazareth in Kenya is cold, so most of the time hot water is more efficient. The hot water is for showering, laundry, dish washing and for the animals. All these activities depend on hot water from solar panels. Nor-matter how big the community is, hot water is continuously used, this gives opportunity to the residents of the house to appreciate the gift of the sun and be conscious in thanking God for it as well as the persons who discovered solar panels.
The community has chickens, goats, cows etc. This means apart from enjoying fresh healthy meat from these animals there is also manure. And from this emerged the idea of Bio gas stove installation that uses the animal waste, especially the cow dung. The production of Bio gas has cut down completely the high cost of using other combustible gas cookers. The maintenance of Bio gas is minimal earning another credit to its use. Interestingly, its process produces cooking energy and other wastes are used as manure for the garden. So, no doubt that bio gas is very useful, practical in this community with less danger of intoxication or death.
As mentioned earlier, in the process of decomposition /fermentation the waste is directed to the garden. This in turn feeds us with good fruits like peaches, golden apples, apples, bananas different vegetables just to mention a few. For this we give attention to the essence of living in harmony with the mother earth.
As part of living ecology, the community use more vegetables, fruits and milk from their own production. In farming they use manures from animals they have so that to avoid fertilizers, and they say that they enjoy eating the natural food which also they participated in producing.
In conclusion, we attest that our driving force to maintain this ecological harmony comes from the realization and the experience of God reflected in all this co-existence; which moves us to thank Him deep within our hearts. Moreso, this life style is economical as we reduce unnecessary costs, use well the sun energy and eat healthier and natural foods. It also serves as one way of teaching the young people in the formation to value what is natural and learn to live healthy. They learn the importance of having animals like cows not only for meat and milk, but also for Bio gas and manure. This is how the formation house of the Consolata Missionary sisters in Kenya try to live in harmony with the mother earth. We thus testify that, “Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 24th May 2015, p. 51)
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