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GNRC South Africa was launched on 26th June 2022, in Durban, South Africa, at a ceremony that brought together sixty (60) participants; among them leaders from seven (7) different faiths, namely, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Singh, Bahai and the Jewish communities. Twelve (12) GNRC South Africa committee members led by Ms. Saydoon Sayed, the GNRC South Africa Coordinator, children representatives, religious leaders, and a professionals from the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa attended the occasion.

  

GNRC Secretary General Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali together with the Arigatou International – Nairobi Secretariat team, joined members from GNRC South Africa to launch the GNRC South Africa Committee. In attendance were Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, the Director, Arigatou International Geneva and the End Child Poverty Director, Rev. Fred Nyabera. 

Saydoon Sayed welcomed the guests by appreciating them for making time to honor and celebrate children. Ms. Saydoon invited representatives from all faiths represented, who led the opening prayers. Children led by Mowat Park High school recited a spectacular dance poem with messages on peace, justice, joy, love, and hope.

  

Speaking during the launch, Rev. Mike Vorster, reiterated that there is need to reestablish the dignity of children as they are often not given a chance to express themselves adding that children should be the center of the house that needs to be nurtured and protected. “Children need to grow in an environment where they feel accepted and feel loved”, he concluded.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Mustafa expressed his gratitude to see different faiths and traditions represented in the event and congratulated the GNRC South Africa Coordinator for her leadership, in the work towards strengthening and reinvigorating the Network. “It is my pleasure to be with you here today to officially launch GNRC South Africa, as we focus on building a better world for children” Dr. Ali stated. 

 “We are happy to see a good team of committee members comprised of different faith leaders, different traditions, and children’s representatives all with unique abilities and qualities to support the GNRC South Africa Network”- Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat, the GNRC Networks and Programs Coordinator said. She further added that she was looking forward to working with all of them for a strengthened and reinvigorated GNRC South Africa Network. 

Rev. Nyabera congratulated GNRC South Africa and noted that he looks forward to continue working together with the team. He then updated the participants about the tenth anniversary celebration of the Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty dubbed ECP@10. 

GNRC Secretary General Dr. Ali pronounced the GNRC South Africa officially launched. He wished participants the best in their work towards a world free of child violence. Children present lit candles and cut a cake to symbolize the launch.    

               

                                          

On 20th June 2022, the GNRC Secretary General Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali together with the Nairobi Secretariat team, joined members from GNRC Bosnia and Herzegovina to officially launch the GNRC Bosnia and Herzegovina Committee. The virtual event was attended by twenty-four (24) participants, among them faith leaders, a psychologist, coordinators and contact persons from other countries, and children. Also, in attendance were Fred Nyabera (Director, End Child Poverty), Ms. Beth Gum, and Ms. Vera Leal, both representing Arigatou International Geneva office.

Ms. Ismeta Begic, the GNRC Coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina opened the meeting by giving her welcome remarks where she stated that their main goal is to promote inter-faith collaboration in advocating for children’s rights and their well-being. She then welcomed Dr. Ali, who, in his remarks, congratulated the members for the work they have been doing over the years. He further encouraged them to continue focusing on improving and building better conditions for children. He also reminded them that the goal of launching and re-launching the country Networks and Committees was to strengthen and reinvigorate GNRC, as one of the recommendations of the Network assessment.

Rev. Nyabera updated members on the tenth anniversary of the Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty. He also encouraged members to continue focusing on multi-stakeholder cooperation in their efforts to strengthen the Network. In her remarks, Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat, the GNRC Networks and Programs Coordinator, commended GNRC Bosnia and Herzegovina for ensuring diversity in the committee membership, especially by including children.

Fr. Josip Ikic quoted a verse from the Quran and a similar one from the Bible on ‘prayer and work’, - laying emphasis on the importance of both, in our work towards ensuring a safe community for all children. 

Children were represented during the launch with Sajra, a 13-year-old representative from Mozaik who played a song. Two other children, Muhamed and Melika led the opening prayers and gave their message of hope for children. Ms. Zvonimira Jakić, GNRC Youth Representative for Bosnia and Hezegovina highlighted some of the activities being implemented in the country with children and faith leaders. 

Dr. Ali concluded the event by officially pronouncing GNRC Bosnia & Herzegovina Committee launched.

The GNRC Secretary General and Director of Arigatou International – Nairobi, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, together with the Director of Prayer and Action for Children, Ms. Rebeca Rios-Kohn, who both serve in the UN Multi-Faith Advisory Council (MFAC), on 4th and 5th April 2022 participated in an annual retreat of the Advisory Council.

The GNRC Country Coordinator in Tanzania, Ms. Joyce A. Mdachi, was invited by the Zanzibar Interfaith Centre (ZANZIC) to facilitate the Women Interfaith Conference on, “The Role of Families in Building Social Cohesion and Preventing Violent Extremism,” on 30th and 31st March 2022. The two-day conference engaged more than forty-five (45) women from Islam and Christian religions from the districts of Chake Chake, Wete, Micheweni and Mkoani in Pemba.

On 30th March 2022, GNRC Pakistan Member, Search For Justice, organized an orientation and planning meeting for the newly-formed GNRC Pakistan Committee. In attendance, were representatives from other organizations including, UNICEF–Pakistan and the Child Advocacy Network (CAN) Pakistan, among other grassroots partners. Representatives from the Pakistani government also attended.

GNRC Pakistan made its TV morning show debut, appearing on Lahore News’ popular Jaago Lahore show on March 22nd 2022. The GNRC, represented by Mr. Iftikhar Mubarik, Co-Coordinator of GNRC Pakistan and Director of Search for Justice; and Ms. Rashida Qureshi, GNRC Member and Program Manager for Search for Justice, took the opportunity to highlight the state of children protection in the country.

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