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Affirming the Place of Faith in Ending Child Poverty

End Child Poverty, collaborated with the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Bosnia and Herzegovina and The Association for Women in Interreligious Dialogue for Family and Society (MOZAIK) and organised a one-day dialogue event, which took place on 3rd June 2015 in the capital, Sarajevo.

The event, themed Affirming the Place of Faith in Ending Child Poverty, was geared towards catalyzing the thinking and action of faith-based actors and their networks, to ending child poverty.The forum drew both local and international participants from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya, Nepal, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, USA, Romania and Serbia. Also present were participants representing faith-inspired organisations, religious leaders, teachers, social workers, government, civil society, development organisations, youth groups, media, the GNRC members and Arigatou International.

Discussions during the event focused on role of the faith-inspired organizations to eradicate child poverty in the light of challenging global scenarios including: conflict and post conflict situations; radicalisation and violent extremism, and; global development and the post 2015 sustainable development goals. The importance of resolving conflicts and building peace was one of the priority issues discussed as a priority issue, among others, regarding the wellbeing of children.

Dr. Katherine Marshall, Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue gave a keynote address on The Power of Faith in Ending Child Poverty. Additional expert interventions were given by: Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, Secretary General, The Global Network of Religions for Children – Arigatou International; Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Secretary General Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka; Hon. Senad Sepic (MP), Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina Delegation to the Council of Europe; Mr. Kul Gautam, Co-chair, Prayer and Action for Children – Arigatou International; Rev. Fred Nyabera, Director, End Child Poverty – Arigatou International; Guardian Fr. Joseph Ikić - Catholic Community, Priest Marko Jakovljevic - Orthodox Church and Sheikh Midhat ef. Čakalović - Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The dialogue was co-moderated by Ms. Ismeta Begić, President, the Association of Women for Interreligious Dialogue in Family and Society (MOZAIK) and Member, the GNRC Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Dr. Vinu Aram, Director Shanti Ashram, Co-Chair Ethics Education for Children – Arigatou International.

The dialogue session was followed by visits to the Orthodox Church, Catholic Cathedral (Cathedral of Jesus' Heart - Katedrala Srca Isusova) and Mosque (Gazi Huzrev-bey Mosque) in Baščaršija – Sarajevo Old Town; so as to contextualise the dialogue in the historical and cultural heritage of the country. Participants also visited the Children’s Memorial Park, honoring the victims and children who were killed during the Siege of Sarajevo.

More information is available on this link.