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.

2020 and 2021 have been years like no other with the world determined to find solutions for the pandemic and recover. As we adjust to the ‘new normal’, today we commemorate the International Women’s Day by upholding the place of women and girls in our societies.

International Women's Day is a global day marked annually on March 8th to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World,” is a moment to reaffirm our commitment towards accelerating gender parity. It is a moment to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness and lobby for accelerated gender equality.

The Arigatou International Advisory Group Member, Sh. Ibrahim Lethome and the GNRC Coordinator for Kenya, Sh. Ramadhan Aula, represented the GNRC Secretary General in the 2nd Zanzibar Peace Conference on 16th January 2021 in Zanzibar.

The two-day national conference, which was officially opened by the President and Chairman of the Revolution Council, H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, was organized by GNRC Member, Friends of Zanzibar in partnership with Office of the President. 500 participants including representatives from the government, UN agencies, faith communities, civil society organizations, ambassadors, and members from the East Africa and the Great Lake region attended the conference. Other distinguished leaders that graced the event included First Vice President of Zanzibar, H.E. Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad; Second Vice President H.E. Hemed Suleiman Abdulla; State Minister, Office of the President, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, H.E. Haroun Ali Suleiman; Grand Mufti of Zanzibar, Sh. Saleh Al Kaabi; Chief Justice of Zanzibar, Justice Omar Othman Makungu; and the Speaker of National Assembly Zanzibar, H.E. Zubeir Ali Maulid.

On 27th December 2020, women beneficiaries from the Family Resilience project organized an informal meeting with children to enlighten them about the challenge of radicalization into violent extremism, and how they can protect themselves from becoming victims. The participants also commemorated the 20 years of interfaith collaboration for children by the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

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