Attending District Synod is thirsty work. Delegates at this year’s LCAQD Synod were so thirsty in fact that they guzzled their way through 364 bottles of drinks, filling three huge bags of empty bottles in the process. But in doing so, through their careful recycling of the bottles, they helped to fill 182 empty tummies.
The empty container scheme, run by Australian Lutheran World Services (ALWS), is an ingenious program that takes full advantage of the Queensland Government’s implementation of the ‘containers for change’ program, whereby savvy and environmentally conscious citizens can exchange their empty bottles and cans for ten cents apiece.
The funds raised from the bottles recycled at Synod went towards supporting refugees in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.
“When the refugees arrive at Kakuma, they are tired, hungry and scared. Every two containers recycled, is enough to supply one meal to a refugee”, says Christian Stern, Community Action Officer for ALWS in Queensland.
“The meals are provided during the ten days people spend at the reception centre recovering from their long journeys and being settled into the camp. During this time they are assessed for any trauma they may have suffered and are set up with the basics for housing: bedding, mosquito nets, clothes and household utensils.”
Not only does the ALWS program help to support struggling refugees, it is also vital in supporting a struggling planet.
“Recycling is important as it cuts down the need for more raw materials to be sourced from our planet.” explains Christian. “From a Christian point of view, we are called by God to be stewards of his creation. God gave us dominion over all the earth (Gen 1:26–28), but this does not mean that we should pillage it. Rather we are to be responsible caretakers of it.”
“If someone gives you a gift, you don’t turn around and destroy it! God has given us responsibility over something very precious and although I understand that the Bible also teaches us that the earth is temporary and will come to an end, I believe that we should all live in a manner that doesn’t destroy our planet.”
Congregations and individuals throughout Queensland are encouraged to support the ALWS program by returning their containers (bottles, cans and poppers) to their local Containers for Change collection, using the code C10079294. https://www.containersforchange.com.au/where-can-i-return
To find out more about the work done by ALWS and other ways you can support the refugees at the Kakuma Refugee Camp visit https://www.alws.org.au/what-you-can-do/the-grace-project/