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Strengthening Partnerships to Address Child Poverty and Violence Against Children

On 7th - 8th February 2017 Arigatou International’s End Child Poverty  and the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) initiatives, organised, in partnership with Sarvodaya, a regional partners’ meeting in Sri Lanka.

The regional meeting convened at the Sarvodaya Headquarters in Moratuwa, was intended to strengthen the work of the GNRC members and partners, with respect to addressing child poverty and violence against children.

It provided End Child Poverty with an opportunity to introduce resources and opportunities to address child poverty, to participants from India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These included the End Child Poverty Knowledge Centre, hosted by Sarvodaya, and the faith-inspired guide to End Child Poverty, a resource guide developed by the initiative. Further, End Child Poverty oriented participants on its strategic workshop during the upcoming GNRC 5th Forum: The Nexus between Child Poverty and Violence against Children.

The End Child Poverty Director, Rev. Fred Nyabera; the GNRC Network and Programs Coordinator, Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat; and the End Child Poverty Programs Officer, Ms. Nyambura Gichuki, facilitated this meeting, together with the Secretary General of Sarvodaya, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne. They gave an overview of the work of Sarvodaya and that of Arigatou International and its four initiatives: End Child Poverty, the Global Network of Religions for Children, Ethics Education for Children and Prayer and Action for Children; together with facilitating discussion on ending child poverty and violence against children.

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End Child Poverty Director, Rev. Fred Nyabera, expanded on ways of strengthening the Knowledge Centre and better means of ending violence against children. Rev. Nyabera also introduced the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) and its relevance to ending child poverty. He clarified the relationship between Child Poverty and Violence Against Children adding that poverty plays a big role in instigating violence,thus giving a brief of End Child Poverty strategic workshop during the upcoming GNRC 5th Forum: The Nexus between Child Poverty and Violence against Children.In summary, Rev. Nyabera stated that overcoming the injustice of poverty involves changing policies, attitudes and practices as well as working closely with people in poverty.

In her presentation, the GNRC Network and Programs Coordinator, Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat highlighted GNRC’s priority areas; child rights, poverty eradication, ethics education, peace building and network strengthening. Touching on the upcoming GNRC 5th forum themed ‘Ending Violence Against Children: Faith Communities in Action’, Dr. Kiplagat explained that the forum was an attempt to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 16.2 focusing on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. The GNRC Network and Programs Coordinator emphasized strongly the need for proper planning and management of regional workshops during the forum that would lead to targeted and workable post-forum regional action plans to guide the work of the GNRC in the next five years.

Participants were motivated to pursue greater courses to create a better world for children. They were also inspired to generate more ideas in their countries that would promote Arigatou International’s initiatives.The meeting officially ended with a field visit to the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) and Meethotamulla informal settlement where Sarvodaya has a project on poverty eradication.

This regional meeting forms part of the build-up engagements towards the upcoming GNRC 5th Forum. Get more updates here.