What is the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children?
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, celebrated annually on 20 November, is an opportunity for all sectors of society – governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and religious communities – to work together to end violence against children.
World Day events take many forms, including mobilization and media campaigns, workshops, religious services and vigils, and common action to protect children from violence.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was established in 2008 by Arigatou International, an international faith-based NGO. Since 2008, the World Day has brought together secular and religious organizations working on behalf of children through over 300 activities in over 85 countries.
The World Day is committed to the holistic well-being of children: physical, cognitive, psycho-social and spiritual. Coming from a variety of religious traditions and secular backgrounds, all individuals and partner organizations are united in a common concern for the well-being and flourishing of children. The movement respects the dignity and integrity of each partner without endorsing any one specific creed, ideology or set of political beliefs.
Why participate in the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children?
Ending violence against children is an urgent global challenge. With millions of children worldwide enduring some form of violence every year, violence against children threatens children’s rights, well-being, and development. Urgent action is needed from the global community to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children, wherever they are at risk.
The World Day is an opportunity for people of faith to join multi-faith and secular efforts to protect children; for individual religious communities and leaders to be part of a larger global initiative; for organizations working to protect children to accelerate and magnify global efforts to stop violence; and for governments to partner with civil society, including religious communities.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children is part of the growing global movement to end violence against children in its many forms.
What is a typical World Day event?
World Day activities, actions, and advocacy are planned locally by participating groups. A World Day event typically begins with a faith celebration organized by religious leaders in the community. Faith celebrations can bring together people of the same faith or people of different faiths to pray and recommit themselves to working to end violence against children.
The celebration is usually followed by a collaborative “take action” project carried out with local community groups, government, UN agencies or other faith-based organizations designed to meet the needs of children in that community. The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children can lead to year-round initiatives and partnerships to protect children from violence.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children provides individuals, organizations, and communities with resources and tools for participating in the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on 20 November.
What is the focus of the World Day?
The World Day highlights three proven child protection strategies: 1) protecting children through universal birth registration, 2) promoting positive parenting and non-violent discipline, and 3) ending child marriage. We suggest participants consider education, community mobilization and advocacy initiatives on these issues.
What is meant by “religious” or “faith-based” communities?
“Religious communities” refers to religious actors and structures within religious traditions and organizations at all levels – from local to global. These include grassroots and local communities, leaders, scholars, practitioners, youth groups, women of faith networks, faith-based organizations and denominational, ecumenical and intra-religious umbrella organizations and networks.
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