IRANIAN CHILDREN SHARE CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
As World leaders meet to discuss climate change on the 51st Earth Day (22 April 2021) Iranian children share their wisdom and concern for God’s creation on SAT-7 PARS program Golpand.
“Dear friends, the environment is the basis of life in this world and if we really understood how important and beneficial the environment is for us, for animals, plants, birds, and fish in the rivers and lakes, we would never pollute them,” challenges Mana, a young girl from Iran. “We must not put rubbish in rivers because it kills the fish. We must never light fires in the woods because we would do a lot of harm to trees and plants.”
Young Mana not only talks the talk but also walks the walk when it comes to caring for the environment, demonstrating that no matter how young or old, everyone can contribute in their own way. “I am a child myself and when I go walking in the countryside or in the mountains, I take a bag with me to gather the rubbish. If all the people in the world keep the environment in their country clean, they will never become ill.”
Mana further identifies the challenges she and her generation face in building a sustainable future. “I must mention the factories which pollute both the environment and the air, and diesel vehicles that produce a lot of smoke and fill the earth and the air with carbon, which is very harmful to us kids and makes us ill. We children must look after ourselves,” she concludes.
Care for God’s creation – discussions around climate change and the environment is not only important to world leaders. In his letter to Timothy, Paul says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity,” (Timothy 4:12). Learning about God’s creation and people’s role in protecting the environment through SAT-7 PARS programs like Golpand, children in Iran express their concerns about the environment, advise one another on how to take action, and ultimately demonstrate that caring for God’s creation is a part of loving one another and loving God.
Parham, a young boy from Iran expresses a particular concern for forests and their decline. “The environment is important for each and every one of us because without it, life is not possible. For us to live, we need oxygen, and this oxygen is made by trees, which some people don’t think are important,” he says indignantly.
Like Mana, Parham isn’t satisfied with just talk, but calls his fellow viewers to action. “We must try to plant a lot of trees to replace the trees that people are cutting down to sell. When we go to the woods we must tidy up after ourselves and if we light a fire, we must make sure that we put it out to prevent forest fires. We must not break the branches of trees and not cut messages in the tree bark, because the trees are alive, and we need them.”
Recognising that the environment is necessary for all life on earth, and taking measures to protect it, these children put into action Jesus’ command to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Thinking about not just themselves but everyone around them, they are working towards the restoration of God’s creation.
SAT-7 PARS youth programs like Golpand and Hashtag are investing in the next generation, so that they can become the changemakers of tomorrow. However, the care for God’s creation is all our responsibility, and no matter where we are, we can care for the environment today.