In 2016, the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was marked by activities and events in all five regions of the world.
From Argentina to Uruguay, 56 activities have been reported in 27 countries in 2015. Preventing and stopping violence against children has been the theme of Prayer and Action for children since 2011 and continues to be embraced by many who organize activities for DPAC. Over 30 activities in 2015 dealt with issues related to Violence against children.
In 2014, the World Day of Prayer and Action was celebrated through 103 activities in 30 countries around the world. “Stop Violence against Children” was the continuing main theme of the activities.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children celebrated its sixth annual World Day by bringing together secular and faith-based organizations to work to stop violence against children through 96 activities in 51 countries. This past year, the World Day concentrated even more on mobilizing initiatives that continue throughout the year.
The fifth World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was commemorated with some 100 activities in over 60 countries around the world. Activities focused on educating communities on the harmful effects of child marriage, campaigning against violent child-rearing practices, and promoting birth registration. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of the Elders and founders of Girls Not Brides, issued a statement to end child marriage on the World Day. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams, also issued a statement on World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.
In 2011 a record number of 96 World Day activities took place in 72 countries worldwide under the new theme: Stop Violence against Children. These activities took the form of workshops, mobilization campaigns, religious services, vigils, statements, media engagements, and other events. The World Day mobilized close to 1400 organizations, including 393 faith-based organizations and religious institutions. Religious services, vigils, workshops and mobilization campaigns gathered close to 230,000 people. Media campaigns reportedly reached over 1.6 million people. Close to 60% of respondents reported that their activities were conducted in a multi-faith setting.
In 2010, the World Day of Prayer and Action was celebrated in 47 countries through 69 events worldwide. Virtually every region of the world was represented and there was subsequently growth in several key areas. Across the globe, religious leaders from all faiths joined secular groups, governments, NGOs and community organizations in prayers and concrete projects to improve life for the world’s poorest children. Many events were organized under the theme of reducing child mortality (MDG #4) and improving maternal health (MDG#5), with a particular emphasis on the importance of breastfeeding.
In 2009, more than 9,000 people in 29 cities in 22 countries participated in celebrations of the World Day of Prayer and Action. Events ranged from a candlelight vigil in Brazil for children held in detention, to providing food and clothing for HIV/AIDS orphans in South Africa. Issues that have served as a focus for action and advocacy in these celebrations included poverty, children’s rights, child protection, education, and discrimination. Many of the World Day events featured interfaith services, with representatives from diverse religious traditions, including Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, indigenous, and other participants.