Esteemed friends and members of the GNRC,
It is my pleasure to share with you during another new year for the GNRC.
Over the years, the members of the GNRC have shared a commitment to making the world a place where every child can enjoy not only the right to live, but also to thrive.
Most of you may be aware, last year was a transition year for the GNRC as we worked on moving the secretariat to Nairobi, Kenya from Tokyo, Japan. I want to thank you all for working with us in ensuring the success of this major shift. As we embark on another phase, I look forward to a more revitalized network that is committed to propel our vision—bettering the lives of children across the globe.
The distressing current political and religious score-settling conflict that has displaced up to half a million people living in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, is still taking place. In Syria, children continue to carry most of the burden of the violent conflict. In Nigeria, South Sudan, and countless other locations, children continue to pay steep prices for wars and conflicts they never started, nor are party to. In the context of on-going insecurity and violence in many parts of the world, children—the most vulnerable—have been left to feel the wrath of the conflicts as their basic needs such as food, health and education cannot be met, let alone adequate assistance for the distress and mental trauma they are facing.
I call on all religious leaders and the interfaith community to get involved in combatting violent extremism and all other forms of violence that directly affect children. I welcome others who serve the same purpose as we do—to increase your efforts and make a difference. Children are indeed the gem of every community and safeguarding their rights is a calling that we must all embrace, and commit to.
I would also like to welcome you to participate by writing, reflecting with the rest of the GNRC Members and friends around the world, about what you are doing, however small, in caring for our children. For more details on how you can participate, visit our website on www.gnrc.net
Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali,
Global Network of Religions for Children