GNRC 10th Anniversary Newsletter

Growing Up With the GNRC: Our Stories

Hind Farahat
Emmanuel M.  N’humba


Ornella Barros     
Nicolas Meslaoui
“I was 17 at the time and was thrilled to meet other children and brainstorm an action plan for a whole global network working for the wellbeing of all children…
“So we, the youth and children of the GNRC, were also responsible to make some promises…
“I joined GNRC when I was only 12 years old. It was the first time I heard about interreligious dialogue…
“Being in the GNRC has changed my vision of the world. I have discovered different cultures, religions, languages, opinions…
Read more Read more Read more Read more


A Network of Hearts
By Atsushi Iwasaki, GNRC Secretary General
From the beginning, I think everyone involved felt that the spirit of the GNRC had enormous potential, but none of us could have predicted the amazing way in which that spirit would be put into practice. The last 10 years have given rise to the most astonishing diversity of GNRC actions and events, each one made unique and precious by the passion and individuality of the planners and participants. I don’t think it is any exaggeration to say that no two GNRC events — of the 205 major events we’ve counted — have been the same…      Read more


Can You Measure the Impact of the GNRC?

From 2000 to 2009, there were 205 major GNRC events,
bringing together 39,049 people, including 21,671 youth under age 18.
Participants came from 87 countries and represented 13 major religious traditions.

These statistics are based on official reports submitted by event organizers.

Read more and see more graphs

Walking Pledge for Peace at GNRC Third Forum in Hiroshima, May 2008


Say “Arigatou” to your GNRC coordinators!

Without the tireless efforts of the GNRC coordinators, the GNRC would never be what it is today. The Arigatou Foundation encourages you to say a heartfelt “thank you” to the GNRC coordinators, not just the current seven, but also Sr. Jean Pruitt, who was instrumental in starting the regional GNRC network in East and Southern Africa in 2001, and Mr. Fady Yarak, who served faithfully as the first coordinator for GNRC Arab States for several years.

Here, the GNRC coordinators share their thoughts about the 10th anniversary of the GNRC.

Dr. Mustafa Ali,


Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne,

South Asia

Ms. Razia Ismail,

Central Asia

Ms. Marta Palma,


Ms. Mercedes Roman,
Latin America & Caribbean
Prof. Rev. Dr. Qais Sadiq,
Arab States
Ms. Dorit Shippin,
“We are all deeply united in this celebration for the well being of children, and pledge to do even more in the coming years…

Read more

“At this milestone, as members of the GNRC South Asia region we renew our commitment to work for and with children to ensure their well being and protection…

Read more

“In just 10 years, GNRC has generated much positive energy. Today a genuine networking connects diverse people, young and old, across continents…

Read more

“A Muslim young person from a country where there was a recent war said to me after meeting a Catholic young person in a youth meeting: ‘We have managed to destroy the potential of conflict among us….in our future work together only the sky is the limit’…  Read more
 “Despite pain and frustrations this dream planted in 2000 in Tokyo at the First Forum of the GNRC has grown and flourished, perhaps because children were at the center of the call…

Read more

 “With hope, the seeds of GNRC have been planted in Tokyo in 2000… Roots grew lively and reached Geneva in 2004… We sat underneath the branches in Hiroshima marveling at its beauty…

Read more

 “Being part of the Global Network of Religions for Children gives our youth in Israel a chance to be part of global efforts for a better world…

Read more


Celebrating a Triple Anniversary
Myochikai (60), Arigatou Foundation (20) and GNRC (10)

The year 2010 not only marks the 10th anniversary of the GNRC, but also the 20th anniversary of the Arigatou Foundation, and the 60th anniversary of the founding of Myochikai by Rev. Mitsu Miyamoto, a courageous woman pioneer in the long tradition of Japanese Buddhism. All support for the work of the Arigatou Foundation comes from the small contributions of Myochikai members, who think of their giving as a spiritual practice of gratitude. You can learn more about the long heritage of Myochikai, Arigatou, and the GNRC in the full publication Shining Ever Brighter.

Rev. Dr. Hans Ucko was one of the very first people consulted about the idea for the GNRC when Rev. Keishi Miyamoto was visiting religious leaders around the world back in the late 1990s. Rev. Dr. Ucko, an expert on interfaith relations and early encourager of the GNRC, had this to say in reflection on the GNRC’s 10th anniversary:

“When the time has come to write the history of women, religion and spirituality, we will see how much we are privileged to enjoy the sensitivity of Rev. Mitsu Miyamoto, the founder of Myochikai and a source of inspiration for the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and its focus on children.

An interreligious network on the rights and wellbeing of children, it is so much rooted in the capacity of children bringing people together in a family and the child as the future of life. Deeply rooted in our religious traditions is the insight that the paradox is true: the child in its vulnerability is a sign of hope that we will bring forth that which is the best in us to protect and safeguard our children. As GNRC celebrates 10 years, we give thanks to God for inspiration and pledge renewed commitment for the sake of children.”


The GNRC at the United Nations: Emphasizing the Unique Contribution of People of Faith
Since its founding just 10 short years ago, the GNRC has made great progress reaching the international community with its unique message calling for people of every faith to work together to protect and advance child rights. The GNRC is demonstrating that religious leaders and communities can play a special role in bringing together people from all walks of life to serve the children of the world. Just two years after the GNRC was founded.

Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto was invited to address the UN Special Session on Children on behalf of the network, where he pledged to promote ethics education for children. Thanks to the hard work of the Arigatou team in Geneva and many others, this led to the publication of Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education for Children.

In 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Rev. Keishi Miyamoto and assured him of his support for stronger ties between the GNRC and the United Nations and its agencies, in particular UNICEF and UNESCO. In 2008, Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro and UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman attended the GNRC Third Forum in Hiroshima. The future of collaboration between the UN and the GNRC looks bright!


GNRC Logo Stands for “Heart”

At the GNRC Third Forum in 2008, Rev. Keishi Miyamoto unveiled the new logo for the GNRC, based on the character for “heart” in the Japanese language. For more on the compassionate meaning of the logo and to see a dynamic video presentation of it, visit here.


New Website for GNRC Youth Coming Soon!

The Arigatou team in Geneva is hard at work preparing to launch a brand new, fully featured GNRC youth website. Designed to serve as the online “home” for the rapidly growing movement of GNRC youth groups, the new site will be your one-stop shop for everything to do with the young people of the GNRC. Stay tuned for the announcement of the website address. And don’t forget to connect up with the GNRC Youth on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Arigatou Team Congratulates GNRC on a Wonderful First Decade
Ethics Education for Children and Day of Prayer and Action for Children Going Strong!

“It has been inspiring to see the GNRC grow and find its space and rationale in the child rights world. Arigatou International in Geneva considers it a privilege to have worked closely together with GNRC members in the development of the Learning to Live Together educational manual.

    We rejoice with GNRC members…   Read more

“Congratulations on the tenth anniversary which marks an impressive decade of achievement by the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). Ever since the launch of the GNRC in 2000, it has been a privilege for me to view the unfolding developments of its key activities in the major regions of the world.    Read more
Agneta Ucko
Secretary General,

Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children


  Meg Gardinier


Day of Prayer and Action for Children Secretariat



Multiplying the Joy and Happiness of Children
By Shozo Fujita, Secretary General, Arigatou Foundation

It is with profound joy that I welcome the 10th anniversary of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all the people who have faithfully served and supported the work of the GNRC.

Over the past decade, regional networks of the GNRC have developed around the globe, and GNRC members have actively engaged in various activities for children, focusing especially on eradication of poverty and promotion of ethics education. Thanks to the dedicated network members as well as our partners and supporters, the GNRC has gradually gained worldwide recognition among social and peace workers and people of faith, from the grassroots to the global levels.

The following is a passage from the Prospectus of the GNRC in 2000.   

The Arigatou Foundation, founded by Myochikai, hereby advocates the establishment of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) to provide a venue for individuals or organizations working for the good of children to unite and cooperate with one another with the aim of realizing a world where children can grow up in health and freedom. This advocacy has its origin in the view that the most valuable asset we can create and pass on to future generations is an environment in which all children can grow up safely, filled with confidence, love and joy.      Read more

We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. Thank you to everyone who contributed to it!

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