On the occasion of the 2021 World Day of Prayer and Action for Children commemoration held on 19th November 2021 in Dubai, U.A.E, the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, convened a roundtable for coordinators and contact persons from the GNRC in the Middle East and the North Africa region. The meeting, which was hosted by GNRC member Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, was attended by Dr. Reham Abdullah from Al Azhar University, Egypt; Mr. Khaled Batarseh, from Arab Woman and Child for Training & Development, Jordan; and Mr. Faraz Hashmi from the host organization. Other coordinators that attended included Dr. Shazmin Rafeeq from I CAN Malaysia, and Dr. Husna Ahmad, Secretary General of World Muslim Leadership Forum, and CEO of Global One 2015. The event was graced by the Director of Arigatou International End Child Poverty, Rev. Fred Nyabera.
During the meeting, the GNRC Secretary General, welcomed members and explained that the meeting aimed to strengthen all its networks which includes building and strengthening the network in Middle East region with key focus on nurturing interfaith coexistence. He noted that in its efforts to build a robust network for twenty years, the GNRC had expanded in its grassroots work and reach and is coordinated by a team of 61 coordinators and contact persons in 61 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and North America. He thanked the GNRC coordinators and grassroots volunteers for their tireless efforts, in ensuring the network is working with people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to build a better world for children. He specifically welcomed Dr. Husna Ahmad from United Kingdom to the GNRC to consider forming a network in her country.
In his presentation, Dr. Ali introduced the GNRC Assessment Report and the results of the survey, contained in the summary report. He shared that in the year 2020, the GNRC Secretariat carried out an extensive assessment covering the entire GNRC network around the world. He noted that the process involved an analysis of data collected throughout the network in a very thorough and broad-ranging process using multiple quantitative and qualitative methods. He added that the secretariat hopes that the results of the assessment and implementation of the recommendations shared in the summary report will help to reinvigorate and strengthen the GNRC, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members commended the effort of the GNRC secretariat and noted that the impact of the network has been felt by countless children worldwide more specifically during the pandemic. They recommended that the summary version of the report be shared widely to amplify grassroots work.