To promote children’s rights and eliminate violence against children, the World Council of Churches (WCC) invites its member churches to join an inter-religious call for prayer and action on 20 November.
The call is part of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, an initiative launched by the Arigatou International Foundation in 2008.
The World Day connects people of faith and goodwill around the Universal Children’s Day on 20 November each year, for prayer and action on behalf of children.
“We invite our member churches from around the world to take a moment on 20 November to pray for children around the world,” said the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC.
“No matter what the situation is, war, disaster, disease or poverty, children suffer the most injustice. They are the innocent ones and we must lift them up to God in prayer,” he said.
“While we pray, we must also work to end the injustice that brings so much tragedy and pain to children. Without providing our children with safe and healthy environments, it is not possible to achieve peace in the communities,” Tveit added.
The World Day’s current campaign “Stop Violence against Children” is focused on ending all forms of violence, including domestic violence, child abuse, violence in schools, in community centres and places where children work.
The World Day puts a special emphasis on positive parenting, ending child marriage and encouraging universal birth registration.
The World Day has brought together several religious and international organizations to be engaged for children’s rights and hold activities in their national contexts. To date around 189 World Day initiatives have been held in 82 countries.
The initiative is co-chaired by the Rev. Dr Hans Ucko, the WCC’s former programme executive for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER AND ACTION FOR CHILDREN – WHAT IS WORLD DAY OF PRAYER AND ACTION OF CHILDREN?
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER AND ACTION FOR CHILDREN
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children brings people together to pray and take action for the well-being of children on Universal Children’s Day (20 November) every year. Universal Children’s Day, established by the United Nations in 1954, also commemorates the 1989 adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was first celebrated in 2008. In 2009, more than 9,000 people in 29 cities in 22 countries participated in the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. In 2010, the World Day was celebrated in 47 countries through 69 events with more than 33,000 participants from around the world. In 2011 a record number of 96 World Day activities took place in 72 countries worldwide.
The logo for the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children features a stylized image of a child painting a rainbow in the sky. The rainbow in the design symbolizes the beautiful diversity of the human family; the many colors unite in a single rainbow to express the universal hope that all children will one day be able to grow to their full potential in a peaceful world. The child in the design is taking creative action to produce the rainbow, representing the inspired work of people of good will everywhere — especially the efforts of children and young people — to build a world fit for children. Our logo is meant to serve as a daily reminder of the spirit and vision of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.
This Success Stories series tells the inspiring stories of 2011 and 2012 World Day actions in selected countries and provides resources and recommendations for organizing similar actions in your community.
Dominican Republic: Leveraging World Day for national policy reform
The 2011 World Day actions in the Dominican Republic demonstrate how the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (DPAC) can strengthen an existing group of partners and provide them with an ongoing strategic focus for their work together. The DPAC celebration was integrated into a wave of activities focused on the issue of violence against children sweeping across the Dominican Republic and the region. DPAC linked these national and regional policy initiatives to community-level outreach.
Portugal:Igniting transformative youth-led community action
The 2011 World Day actions in Portugal exemplify the power of youth-led, community-level efforts to address violence against children. The national network of the Apostolic Catholic Youth Movement (MAAC) has been supporting community celebrations of DPAC since 2009. In 2011, MAAC’s national network served as a catalyst to initiate the youth-driven actions in nine cities across Portugal.
Tanzania: Building a national movement to address violence against children
The 2011 World Day actions in Tanzania showcase a wealth of approaches to sensitizing a nation about the issue of violence against children. DPAC was used to consolidate existing efforts to address violence against children and garner support among diverse constituencies. The series of World Day actions included forums for children; a workshop for journalists, religious leaders, community representatives, and children; a text messaging campaign; and the creation and performance of songs about stopping violence against children. Actions culminated on 20 November 2011 in a large-scale celebration with more than 2000 participants.
“Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man.”
For all of the links below go to: http://www.dayofprayerandaction.org/take-action
Working together, governments, secular and faith-based organizations can have a greater impact than organizations working alone, to stop violence against children.
Therefore, the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children has launched a three year theme:
Stop Violence against Children.
Celebrated on Universal Children’s Day – 20 November of each year – the World Day promotes the rights and well-being of children through prayer and action.
The following resources can help you plan your World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.
1. PLAN YOUR EVENT
- Click on to our Event Planning Guide and learn how you can organize in your own area
- Find a World Day activity near you!
2. PREPARE YOUR FAITH-BASED SERVICE:
- Principles of Engagement
- Religious Leaders Resource Guide
- Supplications for Worlds’ Children
- How to plan an interfaith service: suggestions from our Co-Chair
3. ORGANIZE A “TAKE ACTION” PROJECT IN YOUR COMMUNITY
- ABCs for Action and Advocacy: A Note On Positive Parenting and Non-Violent Discipline
- ABCs for Action and Advocacy on Birth Registration
- ABCs for Action and Advocacy on Prevention of Child Marriage
4. ENGAGE CHILDREN AND YOUTH
- Resources for Youth
- Learning to Live Together
- Strategy on Child/ Youth Participation (For those who work with children and youth)
- Join us on Facebook & Twitter
5. POST YOUR EVENT ON-LINE AT OUR WORLD DAY MAP
6. PROMOTE AND PUBLICIZE YOUR EVENT
- Press Release Template (Use this template and send to local media outlets.)
7. SHARE YOUR STORIES, PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
- Email us
- We will share your materials on this site
8. PROVIDE FEEDBACK
- Fill out our Feedback Form