MANILA, April 4, 2011?Young Filipinos have pledged to plant 1 million trees across the country in one year.
The youth ministry of the Couples for Christ (YFC-CFC) has initiated a nationwide drive for the conservation of the environment.
Dubbed â€œGreenerationâ€ the national movement will launch the crusade to plant 1M trees on April 12-14 in Camiguin.
The year-round campaign, one of the many activities lined up in celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth, will involve all the regions in the country, as well as schools, universities, out of school youth and possibly even those in prison.
The tree-planting will take place in the different dioceses and provinces, following the prescribed months for planting per region, as they may differ region to region.
Young people are starting to plant in some areas like Basilan, where the prelature of Isabela planted mangrove trees.
Aside from local youth ministers in the dioceses and parishes, groups like Focolare, YFC-CFC, CARE Foundation and other youth organizations are committing to see that the millionth tree gets planted.
Organizers believes that the effort to protect the environment should go beyond the Year of the Youth, transcending the idea of plant a seedling for a one-day event and then forgetting about it eventually.
Diana Cajilog of Baguio, a member of CFC-Singles for Christ, one of the youth ministries taking on the cause of the 1 million trees, said that more important than just planting is to make sure the plant grows into a tree.
“I don’t advocate tree-planting; I advocate tree-growing. It is not enough that we plant, we need to make sure the trees thrive and recover,” she said.
Youthâ€™s community involvement
The CBCP declared 2011 as the “CBCP Year of the Youth” with the intention of encouraging young people to “establish and strengthen the youth’s relationship with Christ… and to encourage community involvement.”
Going against the popular perception of the Church as inward-looking, the Year of the Youth or YOTY aims to reach out, not just to young Catholics but to all young people, regardless of religious beliefs.
Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the Executive Secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) explains the reason why the Church wants to reach all young people and not just Catholics.
“The ECY hopes to celebrate its anniversary, not focusing on itself but on the youth, the object and subject of its existence… (Also) because it is the mission of the Church to reach out to all people,” he said.
The YOTY was declared on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the CBCP-ECY, the commission that is in charge of youth ministry in the Philippines. (Nirva’ana Delacruz/CBCPNews))