During the National South Africa Freedom Month, GNRC network in South Africa held a Children and Youth Interfaith Network (CAYIN) Freedom Month celebration on 24th April 2021 at the World Assembly of Muslim Youth in Durban, South Africa.

Under the theme, “Children – Our Gift and Responsibility,” the CAYIN forum reflected on the many challenges and dilemmas parents and every adult face everyday yet despite these, they strive continually to ensure the very best for their children.

On 24th April 2021, GNRC members in Nairobi, Kenya led by the GNRC Coordinator, who is also the Director Center for Sustainable Conflict Resolution (CSCR), Sh. Ramadhan Aula Juma, conducted a cleanup exercise in Syokimau, Machakos County aimed at addressing Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The activity also focused on the implementation of Panama Commitment on Ending Violence Against Children no. 1 on, “Listening to children with empathy and respect, welcoming their wisdom and gifts, and continuing to work side-by-side to address violence against them.”

On 22nd March – 8th April 2021, GNRC member in Kenya the Cry Of A Young One organized a three-week campaign for children and the community of Mathare, Nairobi to sensitize them on the rights of children as ascribed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The campaign also aimed at sensitizing the public on COVID-19 and Arigatou International’s response to the pandemic. The campaign similarly distributed food items to the community who have faced economic challenges.

The GNRC Coordinator in Comoros, Mr. Said M'Changama convened a 3-hour meeting at the beginning of March 2021 in the Office of His Eminence the Grand Mufti of Comoros to discuss GNRC-Comoros’ annual activity plan for the fiscal year 2021-2022. Eight (8) GNRC members representing their organizations attended the meeting.

The 4th edition of the Intergenerational Dialogue organized by Shanti Ashram, a member of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) in India, brought together young leaders to reflect on the theme, “Leadership and Community Service”. The 150-minutes meeting cohosted by Shanti Ashram and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, saw young people share their experience for community service during the COVID19 pandemic. The President of Shanti Ashram and Vice Chair of the Advisory Group, Dr. Kezevino Aram; and the Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and the Keynote speaker of the day, Dr. B.K.Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, together with other notable community leaders graced the event.

The economic and social effects of COVID-19 pandemic have been quite destructive to many lives. Many people have lost their jobs, others have had to relocate or even sell their properties so as to make ends meet. COVID-19 is eroding the progress made in development and infrastructure. The world is on the brink of falling into further poverty due to the pandemic and children and young people are now forced out of schools. Additionally children are at an increased risk of being exposed to violence.

The GNRC Committee in South Africa convened a children’s and youth interfaith forum on 6th March 2021 to open up a space where children could share their thoughts on interfaith coexistence as well as give children an opportunity to build a child-friendly society. The one-day activity also aimed to increase participant’s awareness and knowledge about children's rights and motivate them to network and connect with each other. Other organizations that partnered in organizing the event included World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and South African Hindu Youth Movement (SAHYM). A total of 43 participants (35 children and 8 adults) attended the event.

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