Climate change, while affecting everyone around the globe, has an especially heavy impact on people in developing countries. They often suffer the most from the lasting environmental and economic damage caused by severe weather, drought, erosion and biodiversity loss. The outcome is deepening social inequalities that threaten health, safety and livelihoods for millions already on the margins.
Misean Cara members are taking an increasing look at how to help communities become more resilient to the effects of climate change. They are finding ways to help local economies become stronger by developing sustainable agriculture systems and climate-friendly jobs.
In 2020, to highlight these projects and all those involved, and to inspire more projects to address climate change, Misean Cara launched its Climate Action Awards. We received many innovative and inspiring entries from across our member network, with projects in Kenya, Malawi, Peru, South Sudan and Zambia represented.
An Individual Award was given to Ms. Dinah Chenangat of West Pokot, Kenya for her work with the Chepnyal Development Project, through the Daughters of Charity. Over three years, Dinah has worked with thousands of women to set up nurseries and plant trees, thereby supporting the health of the local environment and providing an income source for the women concerned.
A Project Award was given to the Sustainable Management of Land and Forest Resource Project in Mzuzu, Malawi, run by St. Patrick’s Missionary Society. Serving more than 2,000 participants, the project runs a Model Farming Training Centre, where it teaches community members about the sustainable management of land and forest resources. Bee keeping programmes and production of environmentally friendly cooking stoves are other features of the programme.
The Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development, a project of the Irish Jesuits International in Kasungu, Malawi, also received a Project Award. The project works with over 2,000 participants, particularly targeting vulnerable women, young people, widows and others parenting alone, to train them in growing organic vegetables using permaculture techniques, and in the production and use of composted manure. This project also has an energy-efficient cookstove component, and promotes conservation farming and reforestation with fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing trees.