The celebration on the 19th of November in San Jose, Costa Rica, was held at the Bautista de San Pedro de Montes de Oca Church, combining prayer and reflection on the social condition of children, including inter-institutional commitments to favor children and youth in Costa Rica.
The Global Network of Religions for Children, as part of the celebration of the Day, used the occasion to hold an interactive forum to analyze the condition of the nation, where it is clear that the presence of violence – social-economic, political and cultural – is affecting minor’s ability to enjoy and exercise their human rights.
There are many proposals from social institutions and organizations regarding this situation. Nevertheless, it is believed that joining efforts poses advantages, affording a synergic and systematic dimension to build processes of transformation that impact and transform this destructive reality that limits the minors’ ability to carry out their life projects. With this premise, representatives of faith-based communities Jew, Bahá’í, Muslim, Buddhist and Evangelical, Protestant and Catholic churches, together with representatives of civil society and national organizations, decided to meet at this inter-forum, as part of the activities for advocacy and promotion of children, adloescents and youth in Costa Rica.
The welcoming words to the event were said by Pastor Carlos Tamez on behalf of GNRC and the event Coordinator. The exhibit on the theme Anne Frank, at the inter-forum was presented by a group of Children and Adolescents from Children’s Defense International.
The moment of Prayer was lead by Pastor Justo Espinoza of the Costa Rican Lutheran Church, who started with the following mediation: “Creator of life, we are gathered like children, adolescents, youth, women and men hoping we may make of this Cota Rican society, this American society, this planetary society a space where no kind of violence whatsoever be exerted against minors. We ask that our governments, public, and private institutions, the faith-based communities be able to give this group its well-deserved space, given that they are the “today” of our society. Free us from any attitude such as indifference, tollerance or participation in any kind of violence, be it physical, intelectual, economic, political, sexual, religious, ideological, symbolic, against children and adolescents and youth, we ask this of you in act of humility. Amen”
Next, the Forum began with an introductory explanation and presention of the panelists, by Jose Alberto Quinones Sanchez, World Vision-Costa Rica’s Advocacy and Protection Policy Coordinator. It concluded with a summary of commitments for children, adolescents and youth by Alexander Cabezas, Eclesiastic Relations Coordinator of the “Viva” Network for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Part of the International Day of Prayer and Action for Children celebration included an Ecumenica Prayer Celebration for Children, Adolescents and Youth at the Presbiterian Church at Alajuela. This was coordinated by Reverend Carlos Tamez, who coordinates GNRC activities in Costa Rica.