The Dar es Salaam Declaration of the Global Network of Religions for Children Fourth Forum
Ending Poverty, Enriching Children: Inspire. Act. Change.
We are religious leaders, members of different spiritual traditions and faith communities, educators active within and beyond our communities, civil society organizations, youth and children from 64 countries meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 16th to 18th June 2012 on the occasion of the Global Network of Religions for Children Fourth Forum.
We believe all are equally dignified sisters and brothers in one human family, the destiny of which is inseparable from the well-being of each and every child.
We see poverty as the gravest global injustice, the worst and the most extensive form of violence. The reality of children in poverty brought us together to address: unequal distribution of resources; war and violence; corruption and poor governance. The values on which our religious traditions are built compel us to respond to the challenge of child poverty.
We are obliged to address not only systemic and structural causes of poverty, but also its roots in the human heart—greed, ignorance, hatred and fear—to find lasting solutions. Challenged by the presence, questions, and ideas of the children among us, we commit ourselves to pray and work with children and young people.
We will act through three global initiatives, each of which leverages inter-religious cooperation to address child poverty, and when coordinated and combined, can generate synergies. In doing so, we will work within our individual religious traditions, cooperate on interfaith projects, and partner with civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, educators, governments, development banks, businesses, media, and people of good will.
We will increase our efforts to implement and disseminate Learning to Live Together, a curriculum which engages children in a self-driven learning process exploring the values of respect, empathy, reconciliation, and responsibility. Ethics education gives children an opportunity to change the legacy of poverty and deprivation.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children
We will expand the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, a global initiative that mobilizes religious communities to promote children’s rights. As we celebrate the World Day every year, we will address child poverty by taking action against all forms of violence and harmful practices against children within our communities and beyond.
Mobilizing Faith-Based Resources to End Child Poverty
Today we launch a third global initiative that will emphasize spiritual awakening to address the root causes of poverty and challenge the unequal distribution of resources, war and violence, poor governance and corruption. It will utilize interfaith advocacy and grassroots action to overcome poverty.
Envisioning a world where no child will live in poverty, we will actively engage children as full participants and actors as we advocate and act at every level to shape and promote policies that address injustice against children. In doing so, we will reaffirm human dignity and seek to influence the global development agenda beyond 2015.
FINALLY, in the fellowship of our interreligious network, we thank Arigatou International and other partners supporting this Forum for enabling us to come together and renew our promise to children.
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, 18th June 2012