World Day of Prayer and Action for Children is commemorated in Tanzania on 20th November 2013
Over two thousand five hundred children and youth of faith gathered at the Don Bosco grounds in Tanzania to commemorate the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.
Addressing the theme Stop Violence against Children, the celebrations provided opportunity for all to air out their grievances in an open forum.
In attendance were religious leaders, children, the Tanzania UNICEF representative Mr Paul Edwards, Hon. Ummy A. Mwalimu who was the guest of honour, A Deputy Minister and representatives from the Ministry of Community Development Gender and Children.
The children requested the government and those in authority to:
- Allocate important services to rural areas to reduce the migration of children to urban areas
- Ensure child rights are included in the new constitution
- Support structures that protect children especially those who are not in the family setting
In addition, the children requested religious leaders to:
- Encourage their followers to fight against violence especially those that take place in the religious institutions
Amongst other requests were for parents and guardians to oppose harmful traditional and cultural practices that violate their children’s rights. Additionally, the proposed parents and children having more dialogue as a way of promoting positive parenting.
The religious leaders openly shared their commitment to:
- Create greater awareness in our religious communities about the impact of all forms of violence against children
- Promote the child as a person with rights and dignity by useing religious teachings to provide good examples to influence behaviour change among adults to stop using violence in dealing with children
- Preach non-violence forms of discipline in educating children
- Work within the religious communities to build networks that can provide a front line of response to children at risk of abuse and violence, a place and person to go to when they are afraid or have been maltreated
- Promote inter-religious cooperation, sharing experiances and practices in preventing violence against children
The Guest of Honor concluded by emphasising her belief that religious leaders of all faiths have an immense role to play and an even bigger impact to curb violences against children.