Rev. Miyamoto

First of all, on behalf of Arigatou International and as Convener of the GNRC, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the valuable contributions not only of all Forum participants, but also of many other supporters of Arigatou International, to the success of the GNRC 5th Forum held in Panama in May 2017. Each successive GNRC forum has built upon what has been achieved by GNRC members and supporters around the world. In this sense, I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude in particular to Ms. Mercedes Roman, who has dedicated herself to the mission of the GNRC since the very beginning of the GNRC in the year 2000 and has been instrumental in making the GNRC in Latin America and Caribbean region what it is today. Without her great contributions and long-time service as GNRC Coordinator for the region and as an advisor, the GNRC 5th Forum in Panama would have never even taken place.

In an effort to implement the Panama Declaration on Ending Violence Against Children in Kenya, which was signed during the Fifth Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) held in Panama City, Panama in May 2017, Center for Sustainable Conflict Resolution (CSCR) through its flagship programme Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) partnered with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to train the community on personal financing programme known as ‘Basic Business Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Training.’ The training aimed at elevating entrepreneurial skills among the members of the community.

The civic society of Comoro including Mwana Tsi Wa Mdzima Komor, Hifadhui, CAP, and Subuti Wambé hosted an awareness campaign to end sexual violence against children on Sunday 21st May 2017 in Said Mohamed Sheikh High School, Moroni. This followed an outcry over rising cases of sexual abuse of children.

Following the GNRC 5th Forum held in May 2017, Building Resilience Against Violence Extremism (BRAVE) program in partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) held a series of follow-up workshops in Kenya in May 2017. The purpose of the interfaith meetings was to engage women and youth on their role in countering violent extremism. A total of three hundred and twenty (320) participants from Tana River, Mandera and Wajir were reached. The regions selected for the activities are most vulnerable and exposed to radicalization and violent extremism at the same time polarized by tribal and inter-clan clashes.

“We can and we must end sexual violence!” said youth leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, and Burundi during the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Sunrise Children’s home in Kabarnet, Baringo County, hosts 42 orphaned, neglected, or sexually abused children of ages between 2 and 16 years. The GNRC Network and Programs Coordinator, Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat, joined 14 churchwomen on May 2, 2017 on a visit to the home. With support from Arigatou International GNRC, the group donated foodstuffs, toiletries and other basic items to the home. The children exuded confidence about the future and sang several songs to entertain the guests.

Tension continues to rise in Apaa, Adjumani District, Northern Uganda over the past week as four (4) people lose their lives and twenty one (21) sustained serious injuries over land conflict between the Acholi and Madi communities. The reverberation of the clashes has witnessed torching of houses and farms leaving close to seven hundred people including women and children, homeless.

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