World Day of Prayer and Action for Children – ”Caring for our children is caring for our planet”

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Arigatou International – Prayer and Action for Children and local host and partner Shanti Ashram, a member of the Global Network of Religions for Children, commemorated the annual World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on November 17 and 18 in Mumbai, India. An online commemoration was also launched on November 20 from Mumbai, the date which marks Universal Children’s Day and the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the UN General Assembly in 1989. 

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Photo: The Children’s Huddle at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

This year’s theme was “Caring for Humanity, Caring for the Planet: Child-led Solutions from India to the World.” The. World Day focused on enhancing the visibility of children and promoting their full participation in matters concerning their rights and well-being. The World Day celebrations in Mumbai included more than 760 children who participated throughout the event.

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Photos: photos taken at the Children’s Huddle event at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan


  • Interfaith prayers at Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial, Mani Bhavan
  • Round Table at the Nehru Center​ addressing. – violence against children,​ nutritional security and child health outreach​
  • Children’s Huddle at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan ​with the meaningful participation of children in order to build a more equal and peaceful world​

The World Day brought together 100 child-focused organizations, 40 partners, 75 speakers, and 78 local volunteers. Regarding religious diversity, there were representatives from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism. ​

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Photo: Archbishop Felix Machado welcoming the guests at the Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial, Mani Bhavan 

Since its establishment in 2008, the World Day has promoted multi-stakeholder joint actions among grassroots faith communities, international non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, and national governments in over 90 countries. Many of them support and host events that reach and benefit grassroots initiatives for and with children. UNICEF has been a key partner from the beginning. Similarly, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children (UNSRSG-VAC) has supported and participated in commemorating the World Day.

Another important feature of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on November 20 is announcing the winners of the Wear My Shoes Award. This global awareness campaign aims to mobilize children and adults to respond to a specific critical issue each year. For 2023, the campaign addressed the climate crisis and its impact on health, education, poverty, violence, justice, and migration affecting children. The global campaign focused on the contributions of faith leaders and their communities, civil society, and non-profit organizations to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and protect children from the devastating impacts of climate change. This year the Award provided an opportunity to support ongoing multi-faith and multi-stakeholder efforts to keep children at the center of environmental decision-making processes affecting the enjoyment of their rights. Meet this year’s winners.

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