First, is the conviction derived from my FAITH
There is a strong consensus across our religious traditions about the inherent dignity of every person, including children. According to my faith tradition – Christianity, all human beings, children included…enjoy special status and dignity in creation. The basis of this claim is in the bible, in the book of Genesis 1:27. This requires that we protect and promote the sanctity of life in every stage of human development. This calls us to be willing to take a stand when the rights of children are in danger – be it the right to survival, the right to food, the right to family, the right to cultural and religious identity or the right to education.
When I learned about the theme of the 2019 Week of Spirituality, I was humbled to notice that it directly resonates with this conviction that I hold dearly…a call to safe guard human dignity.
Second, is the innate desire to accompany those who need help most – The VULNERABLE
When we launched the Moral Imperative, we affirmed that the moral test of our society is how the weakest and most vulnerable are faring. I hold this view dearly and to this end we have strived to be champions of the underprivileged and the marginalized. I believe that this is the commitment enshrined in the 2030 Agenda as: “leaving no one behind.” A pledge that holds great promise for promoting and for advancing the rights, perspectives and well-being of the vulnerable.
And so, children born in poverty, or exposed to violence and conflicts, need protection the most. It’s up to us to protect them from harm. We must help them escape from poverty, protect them against violence, safeguard their rights and their safety.
Third, I draw hope from my belief that there are proven and effective SOLUTIONS
I have been a student and practitioner of sociology, theology, peacebuilding and leadership development. In this journey, I have come to believe that poverty, exploitation and violence are not inevitable. Ladies and Gentlemen, the problems that children face across the world, are man-made. We therefore must challenge unjust structures, false priorities, gross inequalities and distorted values that perpetuate the suffering of the children of the world. To quote the Moral Imperative statement.
“Our sacred texts…call us to combat injustice and uplift the poorest in our midst. No one, regardless of sex, age, race, or belief, should be denied experiencing the fullness of life.”
In short, our engagement in creating a better world for all children is aimed at saving their lives, alleviating their suffering and maintaining their sacred human dignity.