GNRC–Comoros member, Mr. Akim Said M’changama, hosted the “Tell a Friend Campaign”, to raise awareness about the upcoming GNRC 5th Forum on May 2017. Ten religious leaders from the region gathered during this meeting.

In an effort to end violence against children, GNRC–Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by Ms. Ismeta Begic held a one-day workshop to sensitize the children of Visoko on the Fifth Forum. Approximately 60 participants mainly youth and children attended the event.

Arigatou International convened an annual meeting for all directors of the four initiatives on 25th February 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. The four initiatives of Arigatou International are: - Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), Ethics Education for Children, Prayer and Action for Children and Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty (End Child Poverty).

On 7th – 8th February 2017, GNRC along with Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty (End Child Poverty) held a regional meeting at Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society premises in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The meeting sought to explore ways to strengthen the Knowledge Centre and the GNRC network in the region. Awareness creation on the forthcoming GNRC 5th Forum and Arigatou International’s initiatives were also discussed. Present in the two-day meeting were members of GNRC in Sri Lanka, GNRC representatives from India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan- in total, 15 participants.

Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, President of Arigatou International and Convenor of the GNRC, visited Panama City on 25th and 26th January 2017 to meet with the GNRC 5th Forum Hosting Committee and inspect the facilities for the GNRC 5th Forum, which will be held on 9th, 10th, and 11th May this year. Rev. Miyamoto made the most of the visit to engage with the religious leaders and faith communities in Panama that will be providing so much of the support needed to make the GNRC 5th Forum successful.

A recent study by Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Finn Church Aid shows that 40% of all recruits into al Shabaab terror group were children and youth between the ages of 15-19 years. This means that youth and children are the top targets of radicalization into violent extremism in the Horn of Africa. Parents and the community at large worry that their children might be suspects of committed terror attacks or potential agents of crime.

In an effort to enhance strong ties to promote a better world for children, the Director of Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty (End Child Poverty), Rev. Fred Nyabera, paid a courtesy visit to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Chulpathmendra Dahanayake on 26th January 2017. Rev. Nyabera shared on Arigatou International’s four initiatives and her commitment to securing a brighter future for children.