News and Press

Share your World Day of Prayer and Action for Children celebration with us!

21 Aug 2014  |  News and Press - World Day News

 

Whether you celebrate the World Day on or around November 20 or you work on children’s issues throughout the year, we would like to hear from you how you try to give expression in and to celebration, worship, meditation, reflection that strengthens and supports your work and action.
 
We want to establish a resource page for anyone who would like to celebrate The Day of Prayer and Action for Children. With a resource page we want to engage religious leaders and their communities in the celebration of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. With a resource page we want to contribute to the building of a community, where people of different religious and cultural traditions, can inspire each other and together all over the world be strengthened in knowing that they belong together and are all committed to the wellbeing, security and rights of children. ]
 
How do you or how would you like to express a moment of spirituality in celebration? Do you work together with people of different faiths or do you work with people from your own religious community? How do you make sense of the Prayer in the title of the Day of Prayer and Action for Children?
 
Let us know what you do or what you would like to do. Share with us a prayer, a text, a meditation, a reflection, a hymn or song, an illustration or drawing, a video-clip or slides and we will post it on our resource page building day by day a library of spiritual resources!
 
Already now you can see how this page is growing day by day. Thank you for being part of this undertaking to establish a library of your prayers for a Day of Prayer and Action for children!
 
Please send you contribution to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Kind regards
 
Hans Ucko
Co-chair
Day of Prayer and Action for Children
 
PS If you need additional information or seek any advice, don’t hesitate but contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

World Humanitarian Day: voices from the field

19 Aug 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

For humanitarian workers, last year was the most dangerous on record, with 155 killed. World Humanitarian Day – which marks the anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 when 22 people died – is intended to highlight the plight of aid workers. We profile 10 people working in some of the world’s most dangerous areas, who reveal in their own words why they do it.

Click here to read the original article on the guardian.com.

Gaza crisis: Deadly strike 'at UN school in Rafah'

3 Aug 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

 

At least 10 people have been killed in a strike near a UN-run school housing Palestinians displaced by the Gaza conflict, medics say.

The attack hit the entrance of the facility in Rafah, where thousands of Palestinians are said to be sheltering.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the attack as a "moral outrage and a criminal act".

The Israeli military has not commented but has been carrying out renewed strikes in Gaza.

Israeli media reports say most troops have left Gaza, though there is no official order to end the operation.

Read more: Gaza crisis: Deadly strike 'at UN school in Rafah'

Church aid agencies coordinate relief for Gazans, plan for future need

1 Aug 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

JERUSALEM (CNS) — With close to a quarter of a million Palestinians rendered homeless by the continuing and intensifying fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, the Coordinating Catholic Aid Organizations met three times in as many days to organize action to confront the humanitarian crisis.

In addition to the current material needs — food, water, personal hygiene items, medicine and diesel fuel for generators — the Catholic aid associations from the Holy Land, U.S. and Europe are beginning to plan for the psychosocial needs of Gazans at the eventual end to the confrontation.

“We are talking about a massive number of people who will be in need of help, and of at least 200,000 children who will need intervention,” said Sami El-Yousef, regional director of the Jerusalem Office of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

CNEWA ran such a program after the Israeli incursion into Gaza in 2012, he said.

Read more: Church aid agencies coordinate relief for Gazans, plan for future need

Syrian Refugee Women Face Sexual Exploitation

1 Aug 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

AUG 1, 2014, 2:12 PM

But then a few months ago she was arrested for prostitution. That put a scare in her — that and threatening mobile messages from a former lover — so she's trying to go it alone.The Syrian refugee woman huddled in the latest room she calls home, a peeling, run-down place outside a north Lebanese village. The mother of six doesn't know how she'll pay the rent. She's gotten by over the past year by taking a series of lovers who would pay for her housing.

"I could never imagine that I'd reach this point," said 38-year-old Samar, who lived a middle-class life back in Syria with a husband who has disappeared since his arrest by Syrian troops.

 

Read more: Syrian Refugee Women Face Sexual Exploitation

They Are Children

31 Jul 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

President, First Focus & First Focus Campaign for Children

Posted: Updated: 

 

 

Children are "fleeing for their lives," according to journalist Sonia Navario, who has investigated the root causes, circumstances, and plight of vulnerable migrants who have been traveling -- often by themselves at enormous risk -- to the United States and other countries throughout the Americas from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

In the case of Cristian, an 11 year-old boy from Honduras that Navario interviewed in Honduras, his father was murdered in March by gangs, he witnessed the murder of three people who defied the narco-cartels that control much of the countryside, and a girl his age "resisted being robbed of $5. She was clubbed over the head and dragged off by two men who cut a hole in her throat, stuffed her panties in it, and left her body in a ravine across the street from Cristian's house."

 

Read more: They Are Children

How is World Day Doing?

27 Jul 2014  |  News and Press - World Day News
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. 

Read more: How is World Day Doing?

Focus on Child Marriage, Genital Mutilation at All-Time High

23 Jul 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

By Julia Holtz 

WASHINGTON, Jul 23 2014 (IPS) - As Tuesday’s major summits here and in London focused global attention on adolescent girls, the United Nations offered new data warning that more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, while more than 700 million women alive today were forced into marriage as children.

Noting how such issues disproportionately affect women in Africa and the Middle East, the new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) surveyed 29 countries and discussed the long-term consequences of both female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. 

While the report links the former practice with “prolonged bleeding, infection, infertility and death,” it mentions how the latter can predispose women to domestic violence and dropping out of school.

Read more: Focus on Child Marriage, Genital Mutilation at All-Time High

Child marriage: one in three brides under 18 wed before 15th birthday

21 Jul 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

Girl Summit tackles female genital mutilation and child marriage, as Unicef warns 280 million girls could be brides before 18

 
Alexandra Topping
theguardian.com, Monday 21 July 2014 19.30 EDT
 

More than 700 million women worldwide were married as children, with one in three of them married before their 15th birthday, according to a global prevalence study.

As activists, politicians and campaigners gather for the first Girl Summit onchild marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), a report by Unicef, the UN's children's agency, reveal the devastating situation of millions of women.

The study, the first of its kind, also reveals that more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of FGM, and states that urgent efforts are needed to tackle gender inequality or the number will not reduce. If the current decline in FGM continues at the same rate, more than 63 million more girls could be cut by 2050.

About a third of child brides live in India, according to Unicef. If nothing more is done to end the practice, the number of married girls could increase to more than 1 billion by 2050. Population estimates suggest the number could leap from 700 million to 950 million by 2030 and 1.2 billion by 2050. At least 280 million girls are at risk of becoming brides by the time they turn 18.

Read more: Child marriage: one in three brides under 18 wed before 15th birthday

Do More To Combat Violence Against Children - UN Rep

3 Jul 2014  |  News and Press - Related News

Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter

Jamaica is being lauded for the steps being taken to protect the nation's children from all forms of violence. However, the country is being told it has a long way to go to eliminate the culture of abuse that has become somewhat entrenched.

Read more: Do More To Combat Violence Against Children - UN Rep