Tharaka Nithi, Kenya — Groups of reformed youths who once sold drugs and stole from their neighbors are helping protect trees in rural central Kenya from illegal loggers.
The young adults, whose previous activities were a source of community tension, now report suspicious logging to village authorities. They are also contributing to an effort to boost Kenya’s forest cover from 7 percent to 10 percent by 2030.
It has been illegal to cut down trees in Kenya’s forests since 1999, but a new constitution in 2010 extended the ban to rural farms unless the feller has an official permit.
Murithi Ntaru, a member of the Muiru Youth Reform Group from the parched village of Weru in the lowlands of Tharaka Nithi County, finds his new calling more fulfilling than his former life dealing drugs.
Independent Catholic News
Pope Francis addressed 7000 members of the Union of Italian Christian Business Executives in the Paul VI hall this morning (Saturday), and told them that companies can become places of holiness. The Union brings together Catholic entrepreneurs who set themselves the goal of being the architects for the development of the common good. He told them their emphasis on Christian formation and training, mainly through the deepening of the social teaching of the Church, was a noble work. He also spoke about the importance of having the right balance between work and family life.
The Pope noted how a company and the executive office of companies can become places of holiness, by the commitment of everyone to build fraternal relations between entrepreneurs, managers and workers, encouraging co-responsibility and collaboration in the common interest.
Famine in parts of South Sudan could be just weeks away unless urgent action is taken to address humanitarian needs.
In its latest assessment of food security in the country, published on Thursday, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) warned that there is a “concrete risk of famine occurring between October and December” unless more assistance is provided and access is given to aid agencies to reach affected areas.
Four counties in Unity State are among those principally at risk of famine, while Jonglei and Upper Nile states are also areas of concern. All three states have been wracked with conflict since December 2013, when a power struggle broke out between Salva Kiir, the South Sudanese president, and his former vice-president Riek Machar. The violence has left tens of thousands dead and displaced more than 2 million people. It has also shattered the nascent country’s economy.