World Day News/Media

Ideas for Action on Birth Registration

Promoting birth registration: Church outreach that works. What might we learn from a global church network's outreach in birth registration? Dr. Sally Thompson, Coordinator of the International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) shares information on the work being done by the IAFN and Communion of Anglican Churches around the world.

  • Preach, teach, link. Church leaders are esteemed by their communities and have a special role there. They work at grassroots levels and are therefore in a unique position to be immensely helpful. Clergy and lay leaders can preach about the importance of birth registration, find opportunities to educate and allay fears, and even link birth registration with baptism.
  • Provide support to get birth certificates in hand (the proof of birth registration). People might need practical help with application forms, complex procedures, or payment of fees. When city registry offices are too far away, church buildings could be offered for use as temporary registration centers.
  • Publish, post online, mail. The IAFN's two newsletters on birth registration were posted online, and mailed to hundreds of contacts who had no access to the internet.
  • Use social media. The IAFN has a Facebook and Twitter presence, as well as a blog for posting information and news, and inviting responses from readers.
  • Work with partners. The Anglican Communion works with many partners. One example concerns Uganda, where members of the Anglican Church worked with the Mothers' Union (a far-reaching church organization which works on family issues with people—of all faiths, and of no faith—in 83 countries), the Ministry of Health, and UNICEF. Together they obtained registration certificates for more than 73,000 children!

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