Tokyo, 7 April 2020
Arigatou International launched today a global campaign titled “Faith in Action for Children” calling on religious leaders and religious communities to increase their actions in response to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children. The campaign builds on the important role that faith plays in emergency situations to strengthen resilience, and the crucial contributions of religious leaders to positively influence millions of followers.
The campaign supports the global and local efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 while at the same time focusing on preventing violence against children. We know that children today are among the most vulnerable affected groups. Many children and their families are in lock-down in their homes, and around 90% of the world’s school children are not attending school at present. According to numerous recent reports, violence against women and children is increasing as an indirect effect of the pandemic.
´While the elderly and those with pre-existing health complications are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, as always, women and children often become extra-vulnerable not only from the virus but also from their vulnerable situation in most societies, including from domestic violence, gender-based violence and lack of effective social safety nets´, emphasizes Mr. Kul Gautam, Chair of the Arigatou International Advisory Group and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.
During the next weeks, Arigatou International, together with the members of its Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and other partners, will strengthen its efforts to keep children safe during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Global Campaign promotes a virtual movement to strengthen connections among religious communities and child protection organizations around the globe to work together to influence behavioral change. Among the innovative tools being launched is a Booklet with activities customized for children 4 to 18 years old that parents, caregivers and teachers can use to support children’s socio-emotional and spiritual needs, which are even more relevant and necessary in the current situation.
We call on religious communities and other partners around the world to join this movement to protect and empower children during these challenging times. ‘This is the time when we need to encourage a sense of solidarity as one human community and act together to overcome this threat to humankind with empathy and care for the most vulnerable people, including children’, says Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, Spiritual Leader of Myochikai in Japan and President of Arigatou International.
Arigatou International’s practical resources for local religious communities, parents, caregivers, teachers, and children themselves, are provided in the following links. Other tools include webinars, blogs, and video messages with relevant spiritual reflections. New resources will be shared during the course of the Faith in Action for Children Global Campaign.
Arigatou International is a global NGO that draws on universal principles of common good to offer compelling new ways for people of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to work together on children’s issues.
Faith in Action for Children Global Campaign Website: https://arigatouinternational.org/en/response-to-covid19
Click here to download the Activity Booklet for Families to use with children aged 4 to 18.
Click here to download the posters to support and protect children’s physical and spiritual wellbeing.
For further information, contact
Ms. Eleonora Mura
Program Officer External Relations
Arigatou International Geneva
Phone: +41 22 734 94 10