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World Day Observance in Timor-Leste

In Timor-Leste, in partnership with Pastoral da Criança, a range of activities are planned including a Mass at Dili Cathedral led by the Bishop on the critical role of religious communities in protecting children from violence.

Activity Recap

From UNICEF Report:

In Timor-Leste, in partnership with Pastoral da Criança and UNICEF, activities included a televised address by the President of the country and a Mass at Dili Cathedral led by the Bishop on the critical role of religious communities in protecting children from violence. The focus was on promoting positive disciplining and birth registration and preventing gender-based violence. See http://www.unicef.org/eapro/media_17762.html

Timor-Leste celebrates World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

Dili, Timor-Leste, 20 November 2011 - Timor-Leste celebrated the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (DPAC) and the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with a series of activities that focused on the theme of “Stop Violence Against Children”. The celebration was participated in by the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, representatives of the religious communities, members of Government and Parliament as well as more than 500 children and youth.
 
The 20th November activity was organized by local and international NGOs working on child protection under the leadership of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child with support from UNICEF.  It officially started with a Mass led by Bishop Alberto Ricardo da Silva of the Diocese of Dili at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral . The Bishop offered special prayers for children while the choir from Pastoral da Crianca Dili sang during the ceremony.

Following the mass, the children, together Vice President Maria Paxiao of the National Parliament, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations to Timor-Leste Finn Rieske-Nielsen, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Timor-Leste Riitta Poutianen, and the Bishop of Dili, gathered in front of the cathedral and released colourful balloons with prayers to stop violence against children.

The second part of the event consisted of dramas, songs and dances performed by children of different religious affiliation. One drama featured positive disciplining based on the findings of “Speak Nicely to Me”, a joint 2006 study by UNICEF and Plan International, which explored practices and attitudes about disciplining of children in Timor-Leste. This study indicated that many Timorese children had experienced violent forms of discipline including being beaten, slapped and verbally abused by parents and teachers. The drama was on how a teacher and a student convinced a father to explain patiently and to lead by example as a means of disciplining his children, instead of hitting or through verbal abuse. The drama, with young performers from Criancas Unidas, was engaging and captured the attention of the children and adults in the audience.

In her remarks, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF Timor-Leste first conveyed her appreciation to the National Commission on the Rights of the Child and the participating religious communities, including those representing the Catholic Church, Protestant Churches and Muslim community, and partners for their cooperation with UNICEF in celebrating the Day of Prayer and Action for Children.  She acknowledged the critical role religious communities play in reaching out to marginalized populations, including children. She concluded by stressing the importance of taking the momentum in strengthening everybody’s commitment to stop all forms of violence against children by moving in concerted action.

DPAC is a global initiative to engage religious communities to work together with national and international organizations for the welfare of children. Its theme for 2011-2013 is Violence against Children. In concert with this initiative, UNICEF Timor-Leste worked with many partners to help focus on positive disciplining, improving birth registration and prevention of gender-based violence.

Before the actual 20 November DPAC event, both the President and the Bishop of the Diocese of Dili, called for action to protect children from all forms of violence, by taping their respective messages which were aired on national television.

For further information, please contact:
Antonia Luedeke, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Timor-Leste
HP: +670-723 1104 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +670-723 1104      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Email: aluedeke@unicef.org(English queries)
Domingos Sousa, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste (Tetum queries)
HP: +670-7301533 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +670-7301533      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Email: dosousa@unicef.org.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

http://www.unicef.org/about/partnerships/index_60764.html

Timor-Leste- A televised address by the President and a Mass at Dili Cathedral led by the Bishop focused on the critical role of religious communities in protecting children from violence.

Keywords: Timor-Leste, Asia, UNICEF, faith based organization, fbo, violence against children, positive parenting, NGO, United Nations, UN Agency, Government

Date: Sunday, 20 November 2011
Location:
Dili