DPAC Actions Held During the At Regional Youth Leaders Forum on Peace Building Sagana, Kenya. 15th – 22nd November 2017
Background of the Background of the Regional Youth Forum
The Interfaith Initative to End Child Poverty (End Child Poverty) and the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), organised the 2017 Regional Youth Forum on Peacebuilding, in Sagana Kenya, from 15th – 22nd November 2017. The forum brought together 39 youth leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, representing various organisations and networks, including the GNRC.
The Regional Youth Forum forms part of youth engagement within the larger Regional Peace Programme (RPP). The RPP is a 5 The Regional Youth Forum forms part of youth engagement within the larger Regional Peace Programme (RPP). The RPP is a 5 year process (beginning 2016) to advance peace; initiated by the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and her nested partners including Arigatou International—Nairobi (AI—N), the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), African Council of Religious Leaders (ACRL) and the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA).
The RPP covers twelve (12) countries in the greater Eastern and Horn of Africa: Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Within the larger RPP framework, AI—N, led by End Child Poverty, specifically spearheads actions to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism (P/CVE).
Commemoration of the Commemoration of the 2017 Day of Prayer and Action for Children
Held on 20th November 2017, the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (DPAC), presents an opportunity for faith communities to stand together with children, in calling for and taking action towards promoting the rights and dignity of all children. DPAC is a crucial day for showing unity, advocacy and rising awareness on the needs of children, within the Arigatou International family. Held on 20th November 2017, the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (DPAC), presents an opportunity for faith communities to stand together with children, in calling for and taking action towards promoting the rights and dignity of all children. DPAC is a crucial day for showing unity, advocacy and rising awareness on the needs of children, within the Arigatou International family. Youth leaders participating in the Regional Youth Forum on Peacebuilding, in Sagana, were not left behind as the Arigatou International community commemorated this important day. They worked in small groups to carry out the following actions:
Intra-faith and Inter-faith Prayers for Children
Throughout the day, youth leaders offered and led prayers on behalf of all children, with special focus on children affected by violence, conflict, hunger and poverty; including children living as refugees, due to violent conflicts in Syria and Yemen.The youth leaders held both intra-faith prayers and inter-faith group prayers, with respect to the Muslim and Christian faith. They invited the forum session facilitators, staff of AI—N and the Director of End Child Poverty, Rev. Fred Nyabera, to take partin the prayer sessions. The youth prayers were led by Mr. Shee Hassan (Kenya),Mr. Abdiweli Waberi (Somalia), Ms. Hawi Emmanuel (Ethiopia), Ms. Diana Alaroker (Uganda) and Mr. Fredrick Shija (Tanzania).
Observing a Fast
Observing a Fast Youth leaders observed a day of fasting during DPAC, giving this reason, “We can use the resources that we have here (in Sagana), to show our support to children on this day. But we can also sacrifice what we have, on behalf of children. We choose to give up our meals today, to show our support and for the sake of the children who are hungry, for children facing violence, for all the children who are suffering.” They combined the fasting with the prayers mentioned previously. This action was led by Mr. Hassan Mustafa (Zanzibar) and Mr. Shee Hassan (Kenya).
To represent the theme of the day and to represent hope, the youth lit candles in honour of all children. They did this together with the final session of prayers before breaking their fast. This session was led by Ms. Lelia Warioa (Kenya).
In addition to the written prayers, youth shared social media messages with their online networks, calling for an end to violence against children. The following hashtags were used #YouthInActionIn addition to the written prayers, youth shared social media messages with their online networks, calling for an end to violence against children. The following hashtags were used #YouthInAction#ILeadPeace #All4Children on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, throughout the day.
The youth shared:
- Poems: 3 poems were written, highlighting the plight of children in Africa. The poems were written by Mr. Onesmus Ogoti (Kenya), Mr. Badi Mohammed (Kenya) and by a team led by Ms. Diana Alaroker (Uganda).
- Short Videos: 2 short video clips were made, each with the call to action, “Let us end violence against children” and “Act Now”. The videos were produced by Mr. Melaku Abebe and Eyob Yishak (both from Ethiopia).
- Photos: youth shared various photos in the course of the day
- Song: 1 song was written by the youth. The song was written by Mr. Peter Travis (Uganda).
- A few of the DPAC photos are available here: http://bit.ly/2mWDzQU
- One of the short video and an excerpt of the MP3 file of the song is available here: http://bit.ly/2AtSI2o
Sample of the DPAC Messages by the Youth
Some of these messages are included below:
Lyrics to the chorus of the song written by Peter Travis, Uganda
We the young Africans
We the young Africans Are standing as one
Joining hands together With hopes for real change
As we apply our efforts to expand our lives
And make Africa
A better place to live
Poem 1: The Poor African Child
by Badi Mohamed, Kenya
Sadness and sorrow reside on their faces.
Diseases and hunger are inside their bodies.
Hopelessness and despair ride in their minds.
The poor African children have cried enough.
Fear of many things, defines their security.
Clear economic constraints describe their identity.
Dear African leaders, let’s shape their destiny.
The African children have suffered enough.
Till when will (they) suffer under the hands of a neighbour?
Till when will (they) offer cheap child labour
Till when will (they) serve a militia group member?
The poor African children have wept enough.
For a future continent, we need healthy children.
For a developed Africa, we demand quality (education).
For a peaceful Africa, social protection is the solutions.
The poor African children must have grounds to smile about.
Poem 2: All I Needed From This World
by Diana Alaroker, Uganda, and the Youth Leaders’ team
It was as simple as a stare
That warned my soul and feet to dare From someone I knew of birth and love A face I knew and thought of warm Until a hard hand and a shovel
Was all the care they showed.
I faced my fears and brushed my tears
But they could never end at such a pace
For my resting abode was my torture place For my resting abode was my torture place
And I could find no peace in this lonely world
All I needed to know of the world was beauty
All I needed to know of the world was light
All I needed to know of the world was a little storm that shook me a little, taught me how to do right
But always passed instead of this hurricane that keeps pushing and coming again and again never resting never quitting even when I want to quit.
All I needed was love from this world that and finding beauty in things I don’t know
Discovery, curiosity, searching for adventure not for peace and laughter in darkness and people and works that I cannot fight.
I’m broken systems that cannot protect me
In dead souls whose hands I should not end up in.
All I needed was love from this world.
Poem 3: A Child
by Onesums Ogoti Bokombe, Kenya
A child is innocence,
When faced by violence,
It cannot sense,
A child is the future,
When vulnerable to torture, A dark cloud covers its future, A future it defines.
It depends on the adult for food, when faced by hunger
It knows no anger,
But depends on its hanger – the parent
Traditionally, the parent is the surrounding, the community, the society, the world, it needs education and a world, to give it a voice.
A child, At birth, it knows no poverty
It has a life as a property,
Life in its breathe,
Adults as its wealth,
One-seven old it feels inequality,
#WorldChildrensDay advocates for inclusivity,
On a mentality, for reality,
Let’s do preserve its longetivity.
Some DPAC Thoughts by the Youth, Posted on Social Media
|Alaroker Diana – Dear Heavenly father, I thank you for all the children in the world. As we celebrate the universal children’s day, may you help them to know you more and walk in your ways. Protect them always from Danger. Amen. #All4Children||Ogoti Bokombe @OgotiOnesmus – I pray for peace and justice, which will enable our children preserve there innocence and greatness. #All4Children #WorldChildrensDay #YouthInAction #ILeadPeace @IIECP @iphrdafrica @benazirmoha|
|Ifrah Mohamed – Let’s all sign this petition to help stop Gender Based Violence against women and girls in my country. Great cause Benazir Mohamed.||Abdiweli Waberi @A_Waberi – Every child has a right for quality education, good health and safe environment. Creating a better world for our children leads us to a better and prosperous future. #All4Children #YouthInAction #ILeadPeace @IIECP @Actil_org @SavetheChildren|
|Hawi Emanuel – Dear father God pls look at the children in africa u know what is best and important for them ryt now more than we want them to have in jesus name amen. #All4Children #endchildpoverty #YouthInAction||End Child Poverty @IIECP – We’re looking forward to celebrating the #WorldChildrensDay in support of all children today. #All4Children #YouthInAction|
|Shee Hassan – Let’s teach the children well and at times let them lead the way so they can show us the beauty they posses inside. #All4Children|
|Isaac Kim Makinya – Every 5 mins a child dies globally from violence. It is our responsibility to protect every child. On this 20th day of November, as we mark the day of Prayer for Children I pray that God gives every child protection in their endeavors. @endchildpoverty #All4Children #YouthInAction|
|Greice Wanja Tush – Today is International Child rights day, we at regional peace conference. #SayNoToViolenceOnChildren #ILeadPeace #YouthInAction #All4Children|
|Elle Adhiambo – Children are the streams from which the river of our Society flows. Let us protect them.|
|Nurhusene Ausman – The best way to make children good is to make them happy. #All4Children|
|Manase Mtamwega – Let us join our hands together so as to end violence for children, let us treat every child as our own. #All4Children #PrayForChildren #endchildpoverty|
|Samuel Odhiambo – I pray for the respect and understanding of children’s plight and a collective responsibility towards ending the deaths from hunger, violence and sexual abuse. #All4Children @endchildpoverty|
|Albert Morogo – #All4Children The greatest gift you can give to a child is to believe in them and let them know you care. This will build positive transformational livelihood.|