Officials kick off the “Laudato Si’ 2020-25 Campaign” in Burundi.

Jonas Nduwimana’s journey with Laudato Si’ began in 2016 when the Burundi native studied Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology at Polytechnic University of Gitega in 2016.

The next year, he founded the Catholic Association of the Environment Protection of Burundi.

But earlier this year, he wanted to learn even more about the climate emergency and Laudato Si’. In April, he became a Laudato Si’ Animator through the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Celebrating the “Laudato Si’ 2020-25 Campaign” in Burundi.
“I decided to participate in that, to enrich and to improve my knowledge of Laudato Si’,” he said. “I needed these formations about Laudato Si’ in order to know how to be active in society.”

This week, to help celebrate the ecumenical Season of Creation, Nduwimana and his organization helped launch what he hopes will lead to millions of Burundians having a similar experience with Laudato Si’ and bringing the document to life throughout the country.

On Tuesday, about 200 “guardians of creation” united during a special ecumenical ceremony to help kick off the “Laudato Si’ 2020-25 Campaign” in Burundi.

The guardians, along with Caritas Burundi, Alliances for Sustainable Communities in Burundi, Catholic Association for the Protection of the Environment in Burundi, Xavier Movement, ASEPE (Association Together For The Protection of the Environment), and GCCM Burundi hope to achieve the following during the five-year campaign:

  • Educate the six million Catholics in Burundi about Laudato Si’ and how it calls on all people to care for the environment and protect creation
  • Plant 50 million indigenous trees
  • Create a still to be determined amount of Laudato Si’ CIrcles in parishes and Laudato Si’ Clubs in schools

“Every man of good will invests in the safeguarding of creation and the donors [have] come to our aid to have a positive impact on our activities on the ground,“ said Nduwimana, who is the GCCM Burundi leader and coordinator of the Laudato Si’ 2020-25 campaign.

The five-year campaign rhymes with plans the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has regarding a seven-year Laudato Si’ journey that is to be launched in May 2021.

The seven-year “Laudato Si’ Action Platform” will work with families, dioceses, schools, universities, hospitals, businesses, and religious orders to become “totally sustainable in the spirit of the integral ecology of Laudato Si’.”

In Burundi, the guardians and organizations will use the next few months to create detailed action plans.