Mainstreaming Child Poverty Eradication Within Faith Communities

Faith Communities have incredible scope, capacity, and tenacity and longevity. We have, however, identified critical gaps in interfaith efforts to combat child poverty; these include a knowledge gap on poverty, a lack of clear focus on child child poverty and the absence of common interfaith tools to fight child poverty.

In response we have produced a comprehensive interfaith guide that brings together into a single resource the various faith traditions thinking and approaches to child poverty. The resource brings together theoretical and practical tools to explain child poverty. The resource is further enriched by blending with contemporary human rights-based aspirations on children and child poverty.

The guide will enable the GNRC members and other faith communities to engage in year-round advocacy and action on child poverty.

The guidebook is intended to serve as a model for them to engage in year-round child poverty spiritual reflection, advocacy and action. It is intended to be an easy-to-use that includes resources to use in worship services, prayers, education programmes, direct service activities and social justice initiatives. The resources can be used with one’s own faith community or multi-faith events.

In order to produce the resource, End Child Poverty engaged an extensive Interfaith network and collaborative in an iterative process that involved numerous actors and expert sources. The process has taken us to numerous communities spread in 25 countries in Africa, the Balkans, Asia and Latin America. Soon to be presented within the framework of the GNRC and other partnering institutions, we expect to grow this footprint both in scope and in depth as these broad communities deploy it to end child poverty.

We expect that this imprint will concretize into long standing local and national actions within the faith communities seeking to address child poverty and integration of child poverty related issues into the preaching, teachings and activities of faith communities.

In the immediate term we expect a heightened understanding of the impact of poverty on children and the need for faith communities to reappraise their role in efforts to end child poverty. From this we expect concrete changes in attitude and bahaviour as may be witnessed in local and national programmes.

In the longer term, we expect an outpouring of support for strategic local, national and regional efforts to combat child poverty, as well as more numerous and stronger networks and collaboratives between faith communities and other stakeholders in addressing child poverty.

“Religious people have often failed to put into practice the deepest insights of their own religious traditions into the dignity of the child” – Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, Founding President of Arigatou Foundation, May 10, 2002, UN General Assembly

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