Manila – Catholic youth groups and organizations including invited schools in Metro Manila are set to gather for the launching of the 200K Bamboohay Challenge at the Sacred Heart Parish Shrine in Kamuning, Quezon City this 27th of July 2019 from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP), together with the Philippine Bamboo Foundation and Ang Mga Anak ni Inang Daigdig (MAID), leads the 200K Bamboohay Challenge as a concrete youth project in celebration for the Year of the Youth and in response to Pope Francis Environmental Encyclical Laudato Si’ to “hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”. The project aims to grow as much as 200,000 and more native bamboos specifically at the threatened watershed areas of Metro Manila in a year.
One of the critical issues in the country’s capital is the struggling water source. SCAP, through the help of its partner-organizations, pledges to planting more bamboos, which shall sustain the health of watersheds, prevent soil erosion, and create a livelihood for nearby indigenous communities. More than this effort is the project's commitment to offering a formation program accompanying all stakeholders, most especially the Filipino youth towards an ecological conversion.
The Philippine Bamboo Foundation studies show that bamboos are endemic in the Philippines. Bamboos quickly mature within three to five years and are found to safeguard the water source in the watersheds. Moreover, bamboos can supply more than 35% of oxygen than any tree which can help reduce the risks of carbon emission in the ecosystem.
SCAP’s project adviser, Fr. Benigno Beltran, says that the 200K Bamboohay Challenge has an underlying purpose. The program leads young people to be aware of taking care of our common home and to assess their current lifestyle so that an eco-spiritual transformation can happen.
CBCP President Abp. Romullo G. Valles recently signed the Pastoral Letter on Ecology, “An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion, Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency.” Ten action points were issued that include creating and implementing a national program for the Philippine Church in response to the call of Laudato Si’.
Interested groups and organizations can partner with the 200K Bamboohay Challenge through (1) joining bamboo growing schedules (2) preparing bamboo seedlings in Philippine Bamboo Foundation’s bamboo nurseries (3) sponsoring bamboos for Php 300 per propagule, and (4) organizing and participating formation-workshops on bamboohay.