Arigatou International introduced the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children at the Global Network of Religions for Children forum in Hiroshima, 2008:
If every year, on a certain pre-designated day, all the world’s religions were to agree that on that day there will be common prayers as well as some concrete visible actions to promote the well-being of children in all their places of worship, it would make an enormous difference in the lives of children, and would send a powerful signal to the whole world that religions can be a unifying force for human solidarity.
Arigatou International — whose mission is to build partnerships to enrich children’s lives worldwide — was founded in 1990 by the Japanese Buddhist organization, Myochikai. Myochikai members donate to the work of Arigatou International as part of their Buddhist spiritual practice. The Japanese word “Arigatou” means “thank you” and expresses the gratitude of Myochikai members for the opportunity to help children worldwide.
Arigatou International is an international faith-based NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and consultative status with UNICEF. The organization has four major program areas: assistance for children in difficult circumstances; raising public awareness of children’s issues; art & culture and information provision; and interfaith cooperation.
Arigatou International also initiated the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) at its first global forum in Tokyo Japan in 2000. The Global Network of Religions for Children is a worldwide interfaith network of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting the well-being of children everywhere. Most World Day of Prayer and Action events from 2008 through 2011 were planned and facilitated by GNRC members in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.