Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, International
The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. For Our Earth and Future Generations A project of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus and its partner eraGlobal Alliance

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Neema Namadamu

Organization: SAFECO- Synergie Des Associations Feminines Du Congo
City/Country: DRC


Neema Namadamu Neema Namadamu Neema Namadamu

The SYNERGIE DES ASSOCIATIONS FEMININES DU CONGO translated the WECAN INTL Declaration Statement into Swahili and presented it to the local indigenous Pygmy women for their signatures and participation as stewards of our global treasure. SAFECO’s delegation went to the local Mwenga territory, where pygmy communities gathered. The meeting included; Patrick Namatomwa, a longtime partner of SAFECO and Pygmy people representative for South Kivu Province, Myriamma Ilunga, SAFECO’s eco-village project leader, and Pascal Byamungu, photographer/videographer, and Maman Shujaa supporter. SAFECO’s team collaborated with leaders from Mwenga surrounding communities and villages including Kitamba, Ilinda, Kibumba, Kalole, and Mwenga Center. The meeting took place at the Catholic Parish of Mwenga. The meeting was opened by team leader, Patrick Namatomwa, and then Civil Society President for Mwenga Territory, Minyota, who said: When I was young, we had a good environment. You just went behind your house and cut firewood for your cookfires. You could cut as much as you had strength to cut. But today you must go far, and when you get there you must ask ICCN (forest authority) for permission. It is easy for us to join in signing this declaration. We are experiencing the effects of many years of bad forest management. Women around the world are signing this Declaration because this has become a global issue. Things have changed and we must open our eyes to see how things have changed so we can work together and have a solution for this global issue. All 117 women and men present signed the Declaration. You will see on the signature pages that many represent different organizations, associations, communities, and government offices. You will also note that many were not able to sign their own name, but scribbled ink on their thumb and then pressed their inked-thumb on the signature line. A prominently expressed view was though many organizations and communities were represented, there is no organizing body to bring them together and enable them to properly address the climate change/environmental issues. After the signing celebration the SAFECO delegation distributed the 80 WECAN/SAFECO t-shirts made for the event, and distributed a small amount of money for transport back to their respective locales. Together WECAN! Neema Namadamu SAFECO President WECAN-Congo Director