During the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children 2021 on 19th November 2021 held in Dubai, the GNRC Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, was invited to moderate a dialogue session on, “Prioritizing children’s social, emotional, and spiritual well-being in times of crisis.” The topic of discussion, which was within the overarching theme of the event (Wear My Shoes Campaign), sought to analyze the challenges children and young people undergo, especially during COVID-19 period.

On the occasion of the 2021 World Day of Prayer and Action for Children commemoration held on 19th November 2021 in Dubai, U.A.E, the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, convened a roundtable for coordinators and contact persons from the GNRC in the Middle East and the North Africa region. The meeting, which was hosted by GNRC member Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, was attended by Dr. Reham Abdullah from Al Azhar University, Egypt; Mr. Khaled Batarseh, from Arab Woman and Child for Training & Development, Jordan; and Mr. Faraz Hashmi from the host organization. Other coordinators that attended included Dr. Shazmin Rafeeq from I CAN Malaysia, and Dr. Husna Ahmad, Secretary General of World Muslim Leadership Forum, and CEO of Global One 2015. The event was graced by the Director of Arigatou International End Child Poverty, Rev. Fred Nyabera.

On 25th November 2021 the GNRC Secretariat through its Network in Kenya convened a roundtable meeting in Nairobi for partners to respond to the multi-dimensional impacts of COVID-19 on children and youth. The partner’s roundtable gathered together 20 participants from the Network in Kenya including representatives from the Department for Children Services, Islamic Foundation Kenya, The Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa – Elim Church, Mombasa, World Vision Kenya, Bare Care, Partnership for Economic Policy, Centre for Sustainable Conflict Resolution, National Muslim Leaders Forum, The Cry Of A Young One, and Kesho Alliance.

On the 19th of November 2021, GNRC members in the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) region were invited by Prayer and Action for Children to the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children celebrations in Dubai, UAE. The event, which was inaugurated by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence in UAE, was attended by about a hundred participants from the UAE government, international and local civil society organizations, interfaith organizations, and private institutions. The event was also attended by three Arigatou International Directors: Ms. Rebeca Rios Kohn, Director of Prayer and Action for Children; Rev. Fred Nyabera, Director of End Child Poverty and Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, Secretary General of the GNRC and Director of Arigatou International – Nairobi. Faith leaders from all the major faiths and spiritual traditions across the world joined the event to offer their prayers during the interfaith service.

On 29th September 2021, three representatives from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) and the European Union paid a courtesy visit to one of the women groups in Jericho, Nairobi, running a small business start-up supported by GCERF, to observe the results sustained beyond the period of GCERF’s funding.

On 16th September 2021, the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y Ali, together with other partners launched the Fifth Edition of the 'Lenga Ugaidi na Talanta'. Represenatives from Arigatou International Nairobi, Government of Kenya, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), GOOGLE, BRAVE, and The Horn International Institute for Strategic Studies attended the program. Other partners that took part in the event included NEXT GEN, Women Against Extremism, Fotton, Impact Amplifier, and Epuka Ugaidi. Children and youth from GNRC Kenya and other child-based organizations also attended the launch.

Every year on the 21st September, the world commemorates the International Day of Peace. This is an important day for humanity. The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is, “Recovering better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.”

We are in the midst of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that has also affected all aspects of our lives. Children are the most affected, with millions of hours lost in schooling. The rate of school dropouts due to lack of sustenance is alarming. Families have lost their sources of livelihoods as economies are ravaged by the pandemic. We must show solidarity.

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