The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children promotes spiritual and religious ceremonies and a wide range of year-round actions in many parts of the world to raise awareness about the rights of all children. The World Day is celebrated every year on November 20, to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. This special date is also recognized as World Children’s Day.

Arigatou International launched the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children in 2008 to provide an opportunity for faith communities and people of diverse religions and cultures to come together to pray and meditate for children’s well-being, and also to encourage them to take concrete actions to protect and respect children’s rights.

The overarching goal is to build solidarity at all levels to create a world that prioritizes children. A world that provides a caring and protective environment where children can flourish and develop to their fullest potential.

World Day 2022

Millions of children are “on the move”! This includes refugees, migrants, and internally displaced people. UNHCR estimates that in May 2022 global forced displacement surpassed 100 million, and at least 37 million were children below 18 years old. The driving factors are often related to armed conflict, poverty, natural disasters, and climate change. Regardless of the reasons for displacement, children face common risks in transit, at destination and upon return including economic or sexual exploitation, abuse, neglect, and violence. Their vulnerability also prevents them from enjoying their fundamental rights including their right to education and health. For example, according to UNICEF, refugee children are 5 times more likely to be out of school than other children.

The World Day 2022 presents an opportunity to increase multi-stakeholder collaboration and commitment to advocate for every child’s dignity and holistic well-being, with a special focus on children on the move. The World Day 2022 aims to build on the unique assets of faith actors to provide a platform for children and adults from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to stand together for the respect, safety, and well-being of children on the move.

The 𝗪𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐌𝐲 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐠𝐧 aims to mobilize children and adults to respond to the post pandemic impact on their dignity and well-being. This year, the campaign focuses on children’s dignity including children on the move. As the world continues to struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the on-going conflict, climate, and poverty crises, driving factors of forced displacement remain affecting children’s dignity and posing risks to their physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual development, and safety. With growing global instability and extreme challenges faced by host communities, there is an increased opportunity for faith actors to build social cohesion, promote peace, and address xenophobia through the spiritual support for children, and their unique role in the realm of faith-sensitive psychosocial support.

This campaign is part of the annual World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, co-led by Arigatou International and UNICEF together with a wide range of partners.

This Campaign includes a Wear My Shoes Award, for outstanding practices or projects at the grassroots level.

The World Day Organizing Committee* has established the “Wear My Shoes” Award to recognize outstanding practices during 2021 and 2022 at the grassroots level which focus on protecting the rights and well-being of children who are “on the move” which includes refugees, migrants, and internally displaced children. Five winners will be selected for outstanding practices or projects implemented at the grassroots level and each will receive USD $5,000.

You can apply in any of the following languages by filling out the form:

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UNITE for every child’s right to education in environments that are safe and nurture their emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

Learn more about advocacy efforts to ensure children’s safe return to school!

Meet the speakers of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children 2022

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Dr. Antonia Carla Testa

Dr.Testa, serves as Associate Professor of the Institute of Obstetric and Gynaecological Clinics at the Catholic University. She is the Scientific Director of the Center for Ultrasound in Gynecological Oncology “Class Ultrasound” of the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital Foundation. This is one of the oldest and most reputed hospitals of Rome.

She also leads as the Director of the Simple Departmental Operational Unit “Ambulatory Gynaecology” within the of the Department of Health Sciences of Women, Children and Public Health, of Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS. She serves as Director of the simple operational unit of Outpatient Gynecology, at A. Gemelli Hospital IRCCS.

And as Director of the School of Ultrasound “Class Ultrasound” at Policlinico A. Gemelli, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome she serves on the International working group on Gynaecological Cancers.

In addition to her global scientific responsibilities, as a consecrated member on one of the worlds largest Catholic movement, the Focolare movement she has conceptualized and led many service initiatives.

Under the guidance and inspiration of Pope Francis she has been convening the very successful ‘Earth Day’ observance in Rome for the past 5 years.

She also led the International Marathon for Solidarity during the COVID 19 Pandemic convening different sections of society to raise funds for vulnerable women and children during the COVID 19 Pandemic. Pope Francis recognized this effort as a Papal outreach initiative and contributed to the significant COVID 19 relief fund.

Antoniacarla.testa@unicatt.it antoniacarla.testa@policlinicogemelli.it