History

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Arigatou International’s history began in 1990, when the leader of the Japanese Buddhist organization Myochikai, Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, established the Arigatou Foundation.

Building upon his many years of work to contribute to world peace, he gave Arigatou the mission of creating a better environment for children, where they can all grow up safe and sound physically, mentally and spiritually. Beginning with providing humanitarian and educational assistance for suffering children around the world, Arigatou has over the years expanded its work significantly by promoting interfaith cooperation for children, working with United Nations agencies, NGOs, grassroots child rights workers, and children themselves. Here are a few of the major milestones in the Arigatou story since then.

Timeline

1990

Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto.

Arigatou Foundation established by Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, Leader of Myochikai, with the mission of creating a better environment for children.

1990

1990 ~ Present

Arigatou has contributed to projects of UNICEF, UNHCR, Médecins Sans Frontières, Red Cross/Crescent Societies, and other such organizations to provide humanitarian aid, emergency assistance, educational support, and child protection in 52 countries.

1990 ~ Present

2000

whole audience raised arms and holding hands.

At the invitation of the Arigatou Foundation, 294 participants representing 7 major religions, from 33 countries and regions, gather in Tokyo to inaugurate the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

2000

2000

Conference of Children for the Coming Generation (CCG) held in Chiba, Japan, bringing together 213 children from 40 countries and regions to discuss their own future. CCG Message is created and sent to world leaders.

2000

2002

Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto speaking at the UN GA hall rostrum;

Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, President of the Arigatou Foundation, addresses the United Nations General Assembly during the Special Session on Children, speaking on behalf of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

2002

2002

Children’s Conference in New York held as official side event of the Special Session on Children, with 44 children from 17 countries, followed by GNRC Special Session Follow-up Conference at Maryknoll, New York, with 95 participants from 33 countries, including 11 children.

2002

2003

Geneva Office established.

2003

2003

Formally recognized as a member of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child at its General Assembly held in Geneva.

2003

2004

Granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

2004

2004

GNRC Second Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2004, bringing together 359 people, including 38 children and young people, from 68 countries and 7 major religions.

2004

2004

Arigatou establishes Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children, launching its second global initiative after the GNRC, Ethics Education for Children.

2004

2008

Rev. Miyamoto leading the march with Asha-Rose Migiro next to him and all the kids behind.

GNRC Third Forum held in Hiroshima, Japan, with 478 religious leaders and others from 63 countries and 8 world religions, including 42 children and young people. Also present were top United Nations officials, including Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary General, and Ms. Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF.

2008

2008

Learning to Live Together: A Multi-cultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education.

At GNRC Third Forum, Arigatou, together with UNICEF and UNESCO, formally launches Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education.

2008

2008

At GNRC Third Forum, Arigatou proposes the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, and launches its third global initiative, Prayer and Action for Children.

First World Day of Prayer and Action for Children celebrated on November 20.

2008

2009

New York office established.

2009

2012

GNRC Fourth Forum held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

GNRC Fourth Forum held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, bringing together 470 participants from 64 countries, including President Jakaya M. Kikwete of Tanzania.

2012

2012

At GNRC Fourth Forum, Arigatou launches its fourth global initiative, End Child Poverty.

2012

2012

Name changed to Arigatou International. Rev. Keishi Miyamoto becomes President of Arigatou International.

2012

2013

Nairobi office established. GNRC Secretariat relocated from Tokyo to Nairobi.

2013

2015

Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, founder of Arigatou International, passes away.

2015

2017

GNRC Fifth Forum held in Panama City, bringing together 526 people from 70 countries, and adopting the Panama Declaration of Ending Violence Against Children, including the 10 Panama Commitments to End Violence against Children

2017

2019

Faith and Children’s Rights: A Multi-religious Study on the Convention on the Rights of the Child carried out and published, to mark the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the CRC in 2019.

2019

2017 ~ 2019

Panama Commitments.

To fulfill the Panama Commitments to end violence against children, 122 follow-up programs, activities and events held in 38 countries by 63 organizations.

2017 ~ 2019
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