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On 6th December 2021, GNRC coordinators and contact persons from 57 countries that the GNRC is operating, convened for a 3-hour virtual meeting to discuss the GNRC Assessment Report and plan a way forward for its implementation. The meeting was graced by the GNRC Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, together with the President, Shanti Ashram and Vice Chair of the Arigatou International Advisory Group, Dr. Kezevino Aram; and the GNRC Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean region, Mrs. Mercedes Roman.

As we come to the end of 2021, we reflect on what has been a challenging year in which the world remained deeply impacted by COVID-19. Many are entering the holiday season gripped by stress and anxiety as a result of the pandemic. We take a moment to remember those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, and those who have lost their livelihoods.

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.

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