World Day News
I am a lay Buddhist. I represent the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka which is by far the most widespread grassroots people’s organization which is engaged in integrated/holistic community development, peace building and reconciliation covering the entire country. The development philosophy of the Savodaya movement is based on Buddhist teachings and Gandhian principles but it works across all ethnic and religious communities in Sri Lanka.
New York, 11 December 2013 – The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children expanded its influence as it celebrated the sixth Day of Prayer on Universal Children’s Day on 20 November 2013. The World Day was the catalyst for 95 events – held in 51 countries in late November – which brought together secular and faith-based organizations to work to end violence against children.
Findings from the 2013 World Day Evaluation Report
Let us imagine World Day as a five-year-old girl. This summary of findings from the independently conducted 2013 World Day Evaluation takes the form of a letter from the New York Secretariat to religious, secular and civic friends and partners.
Dear Friends of World Day:
Because of you, World Day is doing well in her fifth year. She knows that not every girl has devoted friends from so many faiths, countries and backgrounds coming together to celebrate her birthday annually. In fact, three out of every four of you hold interfaith services including prayer ceremonies; indicating that collaboration is "essential to protect the rights of children," along with the forums, workshops, trainings, vigils, marches and policy efforts you mobilized.
In fact, although 20 November is her "special day," World Day has heard that many of you organize multiple gatherings that run for several days or weeks. It seems to work well that one of you takes the lead, with many other groups joining in. For 2013, we've heard about 96 celebrations in 51 countries so far, and that most of the gatherings were coordinated with UNICEF and the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). World Day enjoyed the companionship of peers also, as children took part in about half of these activities.
MATSAPHA – Violence against children has become one of the biggest challenges faced by the country.
This has prompted UNICEF and Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) to reaffirm their commitment in strengthening systems that protect children.
Children in the country experience all forms of abuse, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological abuse resulting in serious consequences and in the process damaging their health and development.
Early this week, this newspaper reported on a case of two children who were stabbed by their father's rival around Matsapha.
Making his speech during the Day of Prayer and Action for Children on Wednesday at Esibayeni Lodge, Deputy Prime Minister Paul Dlamini said a study has confirmed that violence against children especially female was highly prevalent. "The violence often occurs in places that should provide safety such as home and school and lately some sporadic cases from the church environment," he said.
The DPM said it was encouraging to note that Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) have shown commitment to child protection.
He applauded UNICEF for the support they have been rendering towards supporting initiatives by FBOs.
UNICEF Deputy Representative Muriel Mafico said they have been working with religious groups to advocate for children on a wide variety of issues including education, health, HIV/AIDs awareness, violence and abuse issues.
Mafico said as Swaziland joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2013 World Day of Prayer; she was pleased to note that for the past three years FBOs have continued to take action and deliver programmes for children in their various constituencies. "Our partnership has grown as reflected by the wide range of partners," she said.
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