Every year as momentum builds, an exhilarating array of events reveals the passion and creativity of World Day partners all over the world! Read on for a selected virtual tour of World Day November 2011 preparations.
From the Global Network of Religions for Children
Activities will focus on issues of child soldiers, small arms and light weapons in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Ethiopia. The framework is a proposed three-year project: “Learning to Live Together: Mobilizing Religious Leaders in Eastern and Central Africa to Engage for Child Soldiers and Eradication of Small Arms and Light Weapons.”
In Jordan, youth groups in the Fisher Program will continue with their two-year Bag of Love program. Various schools are organizing celebrations. Consultations about the World Day were held in September to garner support from religious institutions.
Youth from five countries — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Romania — began in July to organize their own World Day observances. A Learning to Live Together training workshop sponsored by UNESCO and Arigatou International Geneva was also a venue for an impassioned World Day call to action.
Latin America and the Caribbean
GNRC national committees are planning events In Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Haiti. In Brazil, festivities will be held in public places for greater visibility. Thanks to Pastoral da Crianca, information will be prepared for distribution to millions. World Day will be feted during the week and not on 20 November (because that is Brazil’s Day of Afro Consciousness/Dia da Conciencia Negra, a national holiday).
A “Youth Voices on Child Poverty” competition is being organized regionwide. Children and youth can submit essays, photography and video clips on Child Poverty, the theme of the GNRC Fourth Forum slated for June 2012. Winners will be announced on 20 November to coincide with the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.
In Sri Lanka, several events are being organized to end violence against children:
In Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, 200 children and 100 adults are expected at the main World Day event on 20 November. Government officials relating to child protection and child care are being invited along with religious and civil society leaders.
In the port city of Galle, more than 500 community leaders, religious leaders and young people will be raising awareness on 12 November. The event will be part of the “Deshodaya” or national re-awakening work of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement whose people’s forums and surveys are developing a common Vision Declaration of Sri Lankans across the country.
World Day celebrations, advocacy for children and teacher training will be piloted in partnership with the National Institute of Education. The three-day workshop for teacher trainers from Teacher Trainers from the Wayamba National College of Education will use the “Learning To Live Together” manual as a resource for combating school violence. This manual is an intercultural, interfaith ethics education program endorsed by UNESCO and UNICEF.
In India, a week of action starting 14 November will culminate in the World Day celebration on 20 November. Awareness programs and activities for children will focus on children protection and violence against the girl child. GNRC India is reaching out to 15,000 children from all parts of India through World Day 2011 initiatives.
In Nepal, the Peace Service Centre (Shanti Sewa Ashram) Kathmandu is the main organizer of a four-program, three-day event. An interfaith program with prayers and lighting of lamps will start the celebration. Prayers, poems, and songs from children will be an integral part of this event. A competition of songs, poetry and art will involve students at four schools and orphanages. Youth from various faiths, schools, and colleges will convene. Each program will last three to seven hours. Supporting organizers include GNRC Nepal; Hindu Vidyapeeth-Nepal, Balkumari, Lalitpur; Youth Society for Peace Nepal; and Children’s Peace Home, Dang.
Coordinated by Barbados country office): 535 pastors of the Caribbean Evangelical Association will dedicate their sermons on stopping violence against children. Specific activities during religious services on or around 20 November are being planned in Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua.
Due to an ongoing crisis of prolonged teacher strikes, the country office will focus in 2011 on the right to education for all Honduran children (focusing in 2012 on violence in schools).
Building on an initiative with the Ministry of Education, a consultation with religious leaders will focus on positive disciplining in the home.
News about the World Day will reach all Catholic Church newspaper readers in November. A letter by the Roman Catholic Archbishop about the World Day will be read at all Catholic services on November 20. The Archbishop will also celebrate a mass that will be broadcast live and include his call for prayers and an end to violence against children. Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Ba’istas and Rastafarian communities will celebrate during the weekend of November 20. And in the afternoon of 20 November, the First Lady will lead an event with children at a park in central Panama City.
The largest religious denominations in the country — reaching approximately 85% of the population – will celebrate the World Day on 18, 19, and 20 November in all their places of worship. Leaders will send special messages on “Zero Violence against Children in Schools” to their congregations through radios run by their organizations and text-messaging to build up to the Day. And the Uganda Parliamentary Fellowship, a caucus that organizes annual high level prayer breakfasts, will organize one focused on prayer and action for children.