Pylaia Chembe Religion Correspondent —
THE National Movement of Catholic Students has challenged young people and society at large to adopt healthy lifestyles and shun consumerism.
Addressing delegates at Southern Africa Summit in Chinhoyi, International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) PaxRomana president Mr Edouard Pihewa Karoue challenged young people to lead healthy lives for themselves and for the environment.
The Togolese said, “When the heart is empty, one buys things, keeps them and consume. It’s usually the people who don’t have joy who keep buying things even when they don’t need them and the throw away culture exacerbates the ecological crisis.”
The summit, themed “The renewal of the African continent is in our hands”, ran from February 2-5 and was attended by delegates from Zimbabwe South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho.
Mr Karoue urged youths to resist “collective selfishness” which is caused by consumeristic cultures, but noted that there was no “perfect way” to live.
Pope Francis, in his 2015 document on environment (“Laudato Si: On care of our common home”) wrote, “When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases.”
He highlighted that the emptier a person’s heart was, the more he/she needed to buy, own and consume.
“It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears.”
Zimbabwe Catholic students leader Mr Tinotenda Wakabikwa said the recent summit had encouraged young people to engage national leaders to promote dialogue towards a healthier society by designing frameworks and curriculum development through networking.
Also present at the summit were the IMCS Pax-Romana Africa co-ordinator Mr Patrick Muchalwa (Kenya) and Mr Sameh Kamel, the IMCS Pax- Romana United Nations representative from Egypt.
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