GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
Wednesday, October 27 2021  - 2 User Online  

26.02.2021 16:13:18 1321x read.
CLEAN and GREEN [Bro. Agustinus Giwal Santoso, Indonesia]


[Bro. Agustinus Giwal Santoso, Indonesia]


Basic Character Building

I have been brought up to love plants since the days of my elementary school. Living in the family of a farmer enabled me to learn the skills of sowing, planting and caring for them. Those skills are beneficial assets for my life now, even though farming activity was seen as a forced labour. Fortunately, it has turned out to be an interesting habit as it is done day by day. Now, planting trees and caring for the environment have become the part of my life and hobbies that I consider totally refreshing and satisfying.

Loving the environment is as essential as caring for life in general. The act of caring for the environment and the process of planting trees generate knowledge, experience, skills and even compassion, and enables one to understand the nature of plants, the proper medium they need to grow, the pests that attack them and the suitable time for planting. Even, knowing the growth of plant roots, stems, leaves and branches becomes the sense of an art in life. Planting always gives a deep satisfaction to my heart, particularly when I have the opportunity to observe the seeds and the process of growth. It is interesting to observe the moments when the seeds are starting to grow until they finally produce leaves, stems, twigs, flowers, and fruits. The habit of planting trees and caring for the environment does not just end as a hobby but is also a process of learning the philosophy of life. Any time the FIC congregation assigns me to any place for apostolic duties, I bring my motto “Clean, Green and On Time” to the new place. I have since made this motto my personal vision, and this has influenced others to love and care for nature.


Relevance to the Church

In the encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis urges all human beings to be morally responsible in caring for the environment as it is written in the book of Genesis 2:15, that we have a duty to "protect" and "care for" the Earth. Thus, the interest and love for the environment by making it clean and green is relevant to the hopes of the Church through the encyclical Laudato Si'. The Church considers the present environmental crisis a very serious issue and  sees it a huge responsibility and a challenge to fight ecological crime. Ecological crimes nowadays are in the form of consumptive lifestyles, low empathy, and selfishness. Indeed, a selfish mentality and an uncontrollable desire of humans have become monsters for environmental sustainability. In addition, both personal and group selfish mentality in the context of environmental care is the most dangerous form of crime now.Therefore, the habit of caring and loving attitude towards nature must become part of human life.


Achievements Strategy

Albert Einstein once said that “the world would not be destroyed by evil, but by those who see evil happening, but do nothing”. Therefore, fighting ecological crime is badly needed and it can start from the school environment and school activities. The concept of building the habit of "clean and green" environment among students and teachers can surely be done. Familiarizing ourselves with the concept of clean and green environment is the most effective teaching aid for raising awareness in all our schools and institutions. In a broader scope, the school is the strategic place to combat ecological problems and crimes. The school is the setting to educate all young people to be conscious and aware of environmental problems and their impact on human life.

The first step and most concrete action to take is to build the clean and green habit in the students, starting from very simple things which are immediately visible and applicable like garden arrangement, waste management, warehouse management, hygiene in toilet management, and prevention of vandalism. The implementation of the concept must also be included in the school curriculum and strategic plan, if we are to succeed with the goals for our environmental protection. The next step is to foster an environmental awareness among all the school components, with the formation of a working team to control the activities. However, the main duty of the team is to always maintain a clean and green environment by doing the 5R principles: “rajin, rawat, rapi, resik, ringkes” (diligent, care, neat, clean, compact).


The efforts in maintaining the functioning of a clean and green environmentally conscious movement, will succeed if only the leadership of the school or institution presents himself as a good role-model, by engaging in actions that will inspire others to do same. Role-modeling can start from the closest scope, such as managing our own room and arranging the stuff in the office. Part of the elucidation of resolution 28B of the General Chapter 2018 says: "Taking care of our own environment and helping others to do the same is a real and structural contribution to the well being of the underprivileged. It is a ‘modern’ way of opting for the poor." Since most of us are teachers, it behoves on us to pass on to our students whatever knowledge we have about the environment. Such awareness among young people will help them relate better to the environment.

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