Indonesia: Encouraging spiritual awareness on climate justice among youth

Transforming 500 square meters of dry land into fertile land: the Lutheran City Forest at the Luther Study Centre of KN-LWF in Pematang Siantar, Indonesia. Photo: KN-LWF
Transforming 500 square meters of dry land into fertile land: the Lutheran City Forest at the Luther Study Centre of KN-LWF in Pematang Siantar, Indonesia. Photo: KN-LWF

KN-LWF establishes Lutheran City Forest and launches social media campaign

(LWI) - Encouraging young people to become advocators and campaigners for climate justice was one of the goals of a project recently undertaken by the National Committee of The Lutheran World Federation in Indonesia (KN-LWF). And Nazareth Nababan is a young man who stands for this aim in person: “This was my first involvement with a climate justice project,” said the student of theology who also coordinated the project.

Indonesia has experienced floods, landslides, and also drought as a result of climate change. “When I was a child, the seasons were different,” recalls Nababan. “People suffer, especially the farmers here.”

Although he had been aware of the increasingly extreme weather events hitting Indonesia, Nababan has now gained sound background knowledge about climate change and the theological basis for the care for creation through the KN-LWF project. It consisted of three parts: a workshop led by Rev. Basa Hutabarat, Executive Secretary of the KN-LWF, presenting the theological background; establishing the Lutheran City Forest; and a social media campaign accompanying these activities.

It was an enriching experience for the young people to plan and landscape the Lutheran City Forest, digging the soil with their own hands. “We transformed 500 square meters of dry land into fertile land,” Nababan said proudly. The area lies close to the Luther Study Centre of KN-LWF in Pematang Siantar. All in all, the youth planted about 300 trees. Most of them provide shade, such as tropical almond, avocado, Syzygium Oleina, pine, durian, areca, mango, and frangipani trees.

To accompany the Lutheran City Forest establishment, the young people launched a campaign on Facebook and Instagram. “The challenge is to create a campaign that does not only reach people but encourages them to interact,” Nababan and his team discovered. “Maybe people still know too little about the climate crisis or were not aware of the importance of planting trees to mitigate climate change,” he evaluated the project self-critically. Nevertheless, the campaign reached 2.100 people on social media channels.

“I feel proud to have been a part of this project,” said Nababan. “I hope that we started a movement among young people to act against climate change.”

“We strongly believe that the youth have good capacities and capabilities to create positive impacts for other young people,” the Executive Secretary of the KN-LWF reflects on the project. The youth-led climate justice project was also supported by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

By LWF/A. Weyermüller

 

 

Video: Lutheran City Forest | KNLWF

 

 

LWF Climate Justice Projects