Faith and Harmful Traditional Practices

Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices

Tearfund cordially invites you to join us for this multi-dimensional event to review and discuss the findings of the DFID funded, JLI SGBV Hub research exploring the role of faith in addressing Harmful Traditional Practices.

The event will be comprised of a presentation and discussion of key findings pertaining to:
  • The language of Harmful Traditional Practices
  • Safe Spaces for facilitating conversations regarding Harmful Traditional Practices
  • The interconnection between Harmful traditional Practices, Culture, Social Norms and underlying social ideologies.
The day will include space for break-out discussions to provide attendees with the opportunity to critically engage with the findings and discuss the implications and opportunities that these offer.
​Please RSVP by Thursday 26th October by emailing Natalia Lester-Bush at [email protected].

October Events

October 3:  JLI Joint Learning Webinar on Local Humanitarian Leadership with Oxfam America

October 11-12:  WCC Workshop on mapping Christian health services

October 9-13: One Accord Forum and Expo

October 11-13: Alliance for Peacebuilding’s Annual Conference: Peace Now More than Ever

October 14: Boston University Going Viral: Religion and Health

October 16-19Localising Response to Humanitarian Need

October 26: Faith and feminism working group The impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women: time to take a stand

October 30: UN Strategic Learning Exchange & Skills Building Workshop: Religion, Gender and Youth Inclusion in Peace & Security

October 31: 2017 Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding



Nov 10: JLI SGBV Hub Study Dissemination

Nov 12-15: PaRD annual meeting (London)

Nov 15: DFID/ UKAid conference “Current challenges in Freedom of Religion or Belief

Nov 16-18: Vatican: Addressing Global Health Inequalities

Nov 21UN Staff Strategic Learning Exchange- Engaging with Faith Organizations and communities

Nov 26: Faith-based organizations’ contribution to Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

JLI Joint Learning Opportunity: Webinar on Local Humanitarian Leadership – hosted by the JLI Refugee Hub and Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Hub

October 3 

Local Humanitarian Leadership and Faith
Guest Presenter: Tara Gingerich – Oxfam America

Moderator: Catriona DejeanTearfund (JLI Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Learning Hub co-chair)

Local humanitarian leadership is built upon the premise that humanitarian action should be led by local humanitarian actors whenever possible, yet this research finds that secular humanitarian INGOs do not engage systematically with local faith actors in their local leadership work. Based primarily on interviews with humanitarian INGO staff, this research also found that neither secular nor faith-inspired international humanitarian organizations have a sufficient level of religious literacy to enable them to understand the religious dimensions of the contexts in which they work and to effectively navigate their engagement with local faith actors.

Webinar included the following discussion on local humanitarian leadership and religious literacy.

Response from Catriona Dejean
  • Faith-inspired vs faith- embedded organizations – for some FBOs faith is at the DNA of who and how they work, so it is beyond inspiration
  • Role of relationships: trust between local faith communities and secular organizations are critical especially during humanitarian events (ie good examples in Myanmar, Middle East)
  • It is important to not only look at the structures, processes and tools for engaging with faith communties, but also to understand what enables good and open relationships.
  • Attitudes and behaviors on engagement across faiths and non-faith groups could be explored further.
  • What makes a response effective with local faith communities? The report stated no real difference between secular and faith actors. Could it be because we have different definitions of effective? For example some faith organizations and actors are interested in holistic changes so effectiveness may be framed beyond the tangible or traditional definition of effectiveness.
From other attendees:
  • Role of faith-based organizations as intermediaries
  • There seems to be some dissonance between the responses reported in the research (from HQ) and the situation on the ground, where FBOs face a lot of pressure. There might be an openness to the recommendations stemming from the research such as designing a religious literacy toolkit, but there will need to be a true dialogue on a practitioner level and real socialization.
  • Suggestions for secular organizations seeking to discuss topics with faith-based actors for which they have different understandings. How can these conversations happen most productively? Practicality of engaging with local faith actors
    • On alignment (or not) with local faith groups and how to deal with issues – the Oxfam recommendation to develop tools to help truly assess religion/culture/historical influences on the target group in a humanitarian response is vital. That should help tease out more clearly what the actual or perceived differences are. Ultimately though, as was said, if a local faith community (or any partner of any kind) isn’t able to or doesn’t desire to ‘align’ with humanitarian principles – INGOs needs to decide whether the partnership can continue. We have to deal with our issues too of course!
    • If the whole community believes in one specific religion, it’s simple, but if it’s divided into some religious groups, it can become sensitive. The literacy should cover this aspect as well.
  • About LFAs impartiality, neutrality,& proselytising: how often does this happen vs how often do people on the international level worry about this occuring?
  • Forthcoming article called ‘“Faith can come in, but not religion.” Secularity and its effects on the disaster response to Typhoon Haiyan.’ that deals with impartiality and some of the hypocrisy.
  • See Katie Kraft’s article in the ICRC journal on impartiality and proselytization.
  • The basic idea is that religion manifests in Faith-based NGOs in different ways, such as their names, missions, activities, goals, modes of expression, membership or employment criteria, institutional origins, or the identity of populations they serve, and invisibility is their greatest asset. That is, Faith-based NGOs are most effective in private coalitions and when they do not engage in explicitly religious terms.
  • See also American Academy of Religions recent book: Religion, NGOs and the UN
  • Important to dig into ‘instrumentalism’
  • The JLI Refugee hub will be releasing it’s first scoping study on Urban Displacement, Refugees & Forced Migration and the Role of Faith Actors soon.
  • The Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Hub will have a webinar coming up in December
  • On Oct 16-19, a relevant conference co-hosted by the JLI will occur in Sri Lanka on Localizing the response to Humanitarian Need: The Role of Religious and Faith-based organizations

Local Humanitarian Leadership and Faith Presentation


September 19, 2017

9-11am ET

Location: The Salvation Army and zoom

The JLI Ending Violence Against Children (EVAC) Learning Hub met together academics, policy experts, and practitioners to review and analyse the knowledge base regarding the multiple roles of faith and faith actors to influence or end violence against children, in line with SDG 16.2. The Ending Violence Against Children Hub is a part of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities Learning Hubs, which narrow the focus of enquiry about evidence for faith groups’ activities and contributions to community wellbeing to selected sub-topics. For a meeting summary please join the hub here


Meeting objectives:

  • Member introductions
  • Exchange information about members’ interests and work relating to the Hub topic.
  • Discuss and prioritize research themes
  • Review and discuss Hub Terms of Reference and concept note
  • Updates on faith in relation to ending violence  in the context  of current policy environment
  • Discuss how the hub will work together and next steps

SVRI Forum in Rio, September 18-21

SVRI is a space for the gathering of researchers and practitioners working in the area of SGBV. SVRI Forum 2017 will provide a platform for showcasing research and innovation in the field enabling participants to learn about new and tested interventions on how to end sexual violence, intimate partner violence and child abuse and maltreatment

September 19, 2017 

Faith and GBV Panel: at 11:30am  (venue: COPACABANA)

Chair: Veena O’Sullivan

  • Faith engagement as a factor in women’s empowerment and IPV: findings from a quantitative household survey in Ituri Province, DRC- Maggie Sandilands, E. le Roux, R. Jewkes, U. Baghuma Lele, N.Scott- Faith Matters Report here
  • Listening to male survivors of church sexual abuse: voices from survivors of Sodalicio abuses in Peru- David Tombs
  • Faith and responses to sexual violence in displacement: understanding the needs and experiences of Colombian faith leaders- Ivón Natalia Cuervo Fernández, A. Pineda, L. Cadavid, E. le Roux, L. Rojas-Flores
  • Cutting-edge research: evidence to support engaging men in ending FGM in Egypt- Fatma El-Zanaty, A. Fahmy, S. El Feki

at 16:00 – 18:00 (Venue: Botafogo)

Hosted by: JLI SGBV Hub

Faith plays a powerful influence on the lives of communities including survivors. Spiritual healing or well-being is a key aspect of the overall wellbeing of survivors as expressed by them so there is a real need to explore ways in which the global community explores, understands and works with faith in SGBV. Efforts are needed to promote partnerships between faith groups and other key stakeholders including researchers to begin to explore the role of faith in SGBV prevention and response.

As a process of bridging the gap between faith groups and other key stakeholders this session seeks to highlight the following: Share and discuss findings from Tearfund research on the role of faith in prevention and response to SGBV; Present an overview of evidence for faith groups’ activity and contribution to SGBV prevention and care, based on JLI SGBV Scoping Study; Understand the faith language, expressions and the real meaning of the same; Explore the mechanisms and approaches for developing good practice standards for faith response to SGBV; Identify key learning and tools to work with faith communities, and what additional tools are needed; and Launch the JLI SGBV Learning Hub.

September 20, 2017 at 14:30 (venue: LEME)

Faith and VAW

Chair: Chi-Chi Undie

  • The perspectives and experiences of sexual violence of internally displaced people in Colombian faith communities, Laura Cadavid, E. le Roux, L. Rojas-Flores, C. Monsalve
  • Exploring the nexus between harmful traditional practices, sexual and gender-based violence and religion: working effectively with faith leaders, Elisabet le Roux, B. Bartelink- Presentation link
  • Combating stigma against rape survivors and children born of rape in armed conflict: the role of faith leaders and youth, Erica Hall
  • Masculinité, famille et foi intervention – Passages project, Francesca Quirke, P. Deepan, T. Shand, C. McLarnon-Silk- Presentation link
  • Political Islam, perceived male disadvantage and wife abuse in rural Bangladesh, Ruchira Tabassum Naved, A. Talukder, T. Prasad Gupta, V. Le Masson, K. Yount. F. Samuels

September 21, 2017 at 11:30 am (venue: COPACABANA)

Science Pitches: Faith, Harassment & Responses

Chair: Tirhani Mangani

  • Their priority, our challenge: qualitative research on survivor perspectives across nine countries, Veena O’Sullivan
  • Tradition or religion- a potent mix, Sabine Nkusi, A.Diallo
  • Coercion, conflation, compassion: can faith leaders prevent violence against women and girls, Kirsten Laursen Muth, session pitch
  • From Bangladesh to India: scaling up workplace intervention against VAWG in factories in South Asia, Marat Yu, A. Bergstrom, J. Wan
  • Born to be free: an Asia-Pacific study of interventions to address violence against women and girls in public spaces, Emma Fulu, M. Alvarado
  • Mapping for policy: a “whole journey” approach to tackling sexual harassment and sexual violent victimization in public transit, Y. Irvin-Erickson, Ammar Malik, F. Kamiran, M. Natarajan, J. Zweig
  • Electronic sexual coercion and sexual violence among adolescent girls in San Diego County, Marissa Salazar, J.G. Silverman, A. Raj, M. Rusch, E. Reed
  • Experiencing sexual harassment by males and associated substance use and poor mental health outcomes among adolescent girls in the US, Elizabeth Reed, M. Salazar, J. Silverman, A. Behar, M. Rusch, N. Agah, A. Raj
  • Barriers and facilitators to integrating health service responses to intimate partner violence in low and middle income countries. A comparative health systems and service analysis Manuela Colombini
  • Shipwrecked on an island: women’s experiences accessing health services when they have experienced both sexual violence and mental health problems, Kelsey Hegarty, L. Tarzia
  • Transforming health outcomes of mothers and children exposed to domestic violence into applications for smart phones that offer rapid assessment and triage for services, Judith McFarlane
  • Routine enquiry about intimate partner violence in antenatal care. Two qualitative studies that explore women and midwives perspective, Lena Henriksen, L. Garnweidner-Holme, M. Solheim, K.K. Thorsteunsen, M. Lukasse
  • Violence perpetration against female sex workers in Thailand: contextual data for intervention development and trauma-informed delivery of health services, Jennifer Sherwood, D. Phuengsamran, L. Koenig, A. Wirtz, S. Janyam, M. Decker
  • A qualitative evaluation of an intersectoral intervention for intimate partner violence in a rural sub-district of South Africa, K. Rees, V. Zweigenthal, Kate Joyner
  • Evaluating multi-sectoral responses to sexual violence against women: understanding integration models in resource poor settings, Ruth Nekura
  • Responding to sexual and gender based violence through integrated sexual and reproductive health service delivery in Palestine, A. Stavridis, Shamazat Babar
  • Speaking of justice: the significance of silence, recognition, communication and memory upon the impact of unwanted sexual experiences, Colleen Moore
  • When the health system has collapsed due to a crisis, how to provide life-saving services to GBV survivors? Lessons learnt from CAR, Aurélie Leroyer, Chloé Roger, S. Simon
  • Norms around intimate partner violence among women and men, and intersections with IPV and HIV services: new evidence from a large population-based sample in South Africa, A. Gottert, J. Pulerwitz, Nicole Haberland, S.A. Lippman, K. Kahn, A. Julien, A. Selin, R. Twine, D. Peacock, A. Pettifor


For more information on the program see here

Keeping Faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals

Network convenors 
  • Professor Emma Tomalin, Centre for Religion and Public Life, University of Leeds   [email protected]
  • Dr Jörg Haustein, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, [email protected]
  • Shabanna Kidy, Islamic Relief Academy (non-academic project partner)

New Website

First network event: FBO Workshop on Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals

On Monday 13th February 2017, Islamic Relief Academy and the University of Leeds held a workshop in Birmingham, UK. Around 25 participants came together to network and discuss research priorities on religions and the SDGs, representing a mixture of academic and non-governmental organisations, including Islamic Relief, and academic partners from India and Ethiopia.

Questions addressed in the workshop included:

    • Did your organisation have a role in the consultation process to define the SDGs? What were some of the strengths and challenges of the process?
    • To what extent do you feel that religious voices were enabled to be heard in the consultation process and with what effect?
    • To what extent and in what ways are you now beginning to interpret and implement the SDGs in your work?
    • Do you feel the SDGs provide a useful framework to tackle ‘sustainable development’ globally? What are the opportunities and limitations of the SDGs?

Participants discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by Agenda 2030 and discussed current research gaps in the area. As part of the network’s agenda, conferences will be held in these Ethiopia and India over the course of the next eighteen months, with opportunities for country specific consultations to take place. The Network also intends to publish an edited volume and launch a policy paper in the UK Houses of Parliament within the next year and a half.

Notes from Birmingham UK meeting

The next event organised by the network will be held on 24th February 2017 at the University Bath to discuss methodology, religion, and development. More details can be found below.

Methodological Challenges of Researching Religion


Announcing a new religion and sustainable development network – funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK – which involves academics and faith-based development actors. The network aims to enhance international exchange about the role of religions in defining, implementing, and safeguarding ‘sustainable development’, as codified in the UN ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs).
Religion is a major cultural, social, political, and economic factor in many ODA recipient countries, which is why understanding the local religious dynamics and the role of faith actors is crucial for sustainable development. While development practice and development studies had essentially subscribed to a modernist, secular paradigm of social change for much of the 20th century, this has begun to change. Greater portions of development aid are now channelled via so-called faith-based initiatives or organisations, and religion is increasingly recognised as a human resource rather than just an obstacle to development. Many religious groups have also been involved perceptibly in development policy, by adopting and heralding the Millennium Development Goals and through consultations in the drafting of the new SDGs.
To join their Religions and Development mailing list, sign up here:

July 12, 2017

Convened by the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development (Chaired by UNFPA) in partnership with the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities.

HE Ambassador David Donoghue, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, and Dr Azza Karam, UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development will be co-moderating.

Jean Duff will be representing JLI on a panel addressing faith-based partnerships to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel will also include JLI Board Member Anwar Khan, Islamic Relief USA.

Click below for more details:

Faith-Based Partnerships: Vehicles for Achieving the SDGs

Fifth GNRC Forum

9-11 May 2017

Panama City, Panama

Four-hundred religious leaders, members of diverse faith communities, leaders of faith-based organizations, United Nations officials, and representatives of international and grassroots organizations from around the world attended the Forum. A pre-forum brought together 64 children on 6-8 May.

The GNRC 5th Forum built on work from GNRC members from diverse faith traditions have been doing since the year 2000, working for and with children, to build a better world for children. Working locally, nationally, and globally. The 5th Forum focused specifically on the role of faith communities in addressing challenges presented by various forms of violence against children in three sub-themes:

  • “Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime”
  • “Nurturing Spirituality and Ending Violence in Child Upbringing”
  • “Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children.”

JLI announced a new Learning Hub on Ending Violence Against Children at the forum. Rebeca Rios-Kohn, Arigatou International (shown below) and Christo Greyling, World Vision International announced plans during sessions at the forum. To apply to be a member please register at

Press release from GNRC Fifth Forum

Panama Declaration

Day 1
First Plenary

Chaired by Rt. Rev. Julio E. Murray, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Panama, President of the Ecumenical Committee, Chair, Interreligious Committee in Panama, Chair, GNRC 5th Forum

  • Remarks by Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, President, Arigatou International, Convenor, Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and Rev. Mons. Sidney Fones, Chair, GNRC 5th Forum International Organizing Committee
  • Messages from H.E Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Holy See; H.R.H. Prince El Hassan bin Talal, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
  • Opening Address from Panama’s President: Juan Carlos Varela


Second Plenary

Co-Chaired by: Prof. Anantanand Rambachan, Professor and Chair, Religion Department, Saint Olaf College, Council Member, Prayer and Action for Children, and Rabbi Diana Gerson; Program Director, New York Board of Rabbis

Keynote Addresses:

  • Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, United Nations, discussed state of Violence Against Children. Referenced report on
  • Children’s Representatives:
  • H.E. Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras


Third Plenary

Session Moderator: Mr. Kul Gautam, Chair, Prayer and Action for Children, Former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations

  • Introductory Remarks: Dr. Susan Bissell, Executive Director, Global Partnership and Fund to End Violence Against Children


  • Ms. Marita Perceval, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, Lead, Faith-Based Initiative, World Bank Group
  • Dr. Kezevino Aram, Co-Moderator, Religions for Peace International, President,
  • Shanti Ashram, India, President, Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children
  • Rev. Hidehito Okochi, Chief Priest, Kenji-in Temple and Juko-in Temple, Japan, Board Member, Arigatou International
  • Children’s Representative (from the Children’s Pre-Forum Meeting)

Attendees then attended breakout working sessions by region (Latin America and Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East)


Day 2
Fourth Plenary

Session Co-Chairs: Prof. Abdulghafur El Busaidy, Chairman, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, and Ms. Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International

THEME 1: Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime: The Role of Faith Communities

Keynote Address by Fr. Juan Luis Carbajal Tejeda, Executive Secretary, Pastoral de Movilidad Humana, Episcopal Conference of Guatemala, followed by a children’s representative’s remarks

THEME 2: Nurturing Spirituality and Ending Violence in Child Upbringing: The Role of Faith Communities

Keynote Address by H.G. Dr. Barry C. Morgan, former Archbishop of Wales

THEME 3: Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children: The Role of Faith Communities

Keynote Address by Dr. Alaa Murabit, UN High-level Commissioner on Health, Employment and Economic Growth, followed by a children’s representative’s remarks


Parallel Sessions by Theme

Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime: The Role of Faith Communities

  • Moderators: Dr. Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, Commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and Imam Dr. Rashied Omar, Research Scholar of Islamic Studies and Peace Building, University of Notre Dame, Coordinating Imam, Claremont Main Road Mosque, Cape Town, South Africa
  • PANELISTS: Mr. Antti Pentikäinen, Executive Director, Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (NRTP), Dr. Amr Abdalla, Senior Advisor on the Reform of Education in Muslim Societies Project, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Washington, D.C. Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace International Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Director, Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (NRTP) Children’s Representative (from the Children’s Pre-Forum Meeting) Ms. Janet Arach, GNRC Member, Uganda, Youth Representative

Nurturing Spirituality and Ending Violence in Child Upbringing: The Role of Faith Communities

  • Moderators: Dr. Nelson Arns Neumann, Coordinator, Pastoral da Criança, and Rev. Dr. Nicta Lubaale, General Secretary, Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC)
  • PANELISTS: Ms. Georgina de Villalta, Global Movement for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean Prof. Harold Segura, Regional Director of Church Relations and Christian Identity for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Vision International Ms. Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, President of CONAVIGUA, Member, Continental Network of Indigenous Women of Americas, Guatemala Children’s Representative (from the Children’s Pre-Forum Meeting) Mrs. Sheran Harper, Worldwide Trustee, Mothers Union, Trainer, Worldwide Parenting Programme

Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children: The Role of Faith Communities

  • Moderators: Ms. Silvia Mazzarelli, Regional Head of Policy and Programming, Plan International, and Ms. Bani Dugal, Representative to the United Nations, Baha’i International Community, United States
  • PANELISTS: Ms. Dorothy Rozga, Executive Director, ECPAT International Sr. Denisse Pichardo, O.P, Dominican Order of the Altagracia Children’s Representative (from the Children’s Pre-Forum Meeting) Ms. Corina Villacorta, Regional Director, Plan International Americas Mr. Christo Greyling, Senior Director, Faith – Advocacy and External Engagement, World Vision International


Fifth Plenary

ALL FOR CHILDREN: Working with Faith Communities and Partners to End Violence Against Children through Arigatou International’s Initiatives


  • Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC): Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, Secretary General, GNRC, Director, Arigatou International – Nairobi, and Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat, GNRC Network and Programs Coordinator Ethics Education for Children: Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Secretary General, Ethics Education for Children, Director, Arigatou International – Geneva Prayer and Action for Children: Ms. Rebeca Rios-Kohn, Director, Prayer and Action for Children, Director, Arigatou International – New York Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty (End Child Poverty): Rev. Fredrick O. Nyabera, Director, End Child Poverty, Arigatou International – Nairobi


Day 3
Parallel Sessions by Theme

“The Nexus Between Child Poverty and Violence Against Children”

Facilitators: Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, Lead, Faith-Based Initiative, World Bank Group, and Rev. Fredrick O. Nyabera, Director, End Child Poverty, Arigatou International – Nairobi

“The Role of Ethics Education in Strengthening Families and Nurturing Spirituality in Children”

Facilitators: Dr. Kezevino Aram, Co-Moderator, Religions for Peace International, President, Shanti Ashram, India, President, Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children, and Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Secretary General, Ethics Education for Children, Director, Arigatou International – Geneva

“Combatting Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children”

Facilitators: Rabbi Diana Gerson, Program Director, New York Board of Rabbis, and Ms. Rebeca Rios-Kohn, Director, Prayer and Action for Children, Director, Arigatou International – New York

The Sixth Plenary included reading the consensus statement of GNRC Network, commitment from GNRC to see the statement through and a call to action for others to join.


Seventh Plenary: Closing Ceremony

Session Co-Chairs: H. L. Bishop Dr. Method Kilaini, Bishop of Bukoba Diocese, Bukoba, Tanzania, and Ms. Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, President of CONAVIGUA, Member, Continental Network of Indigenous Women of Americas, Guatemala

  • Sheikh Mohamed Sohaib Al-Chami, the Grand Imam of Aleppo, Syria
  • Dr. Agnes Abuom, Moderator, Central Committee, World Council of Churches
  • Dr. Alaa Murabit, UN High-level Commissioner on Health, Employment and Economic Growth
  • Children’s Presentation
  • Reading of GNRC 5th Forum Declaration, Rev. Mons. Sidney Fones
  • H.G. Archbishop Felix Machado, Archbishop of Vasai, India

The conference ended with an interfaith prayer celebrating all the faith traditions in attendance.



The JLI Ending Violence Against Children Learning Hub was announced at the Global Network of Religions for Children 5th Forum -Ending Violence Against Children: Faith Communities in Action in Panama.

The intention of this Hub is to be a horizontal learning community that links academics, policy makers and practitioners working on issues of faith, faith leaders and religious community contribution to ending violence against children. Framing questions will be refined further through evidence Scoping and policy dialogue in the first phase of the Hub.


The convening co-chairs of the JLI Learning Hub on Ending Violence Against Children (EVAC Hub)are:

  • Robyn Hagan, World Vision International, Global Advisor – Faith Partnerships for Child Protection 
  • Rebeca Rios-Kohn, Arigatou International New York Office, Director
  • Carola Eyber, Queen Margaret University, Institute for Global Health and Development, Senior Lecturer


For more information please see the relevant resources: Draft Terms of Reference and Draft Concept Note


For more information on the GNRC forum please see here

The GHR Foundation is partnering with OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform, to conduct the BridgeBuilder Challenge. The BridgeBuilder Challenge leverages the universal call from Pope Francis to ‘build bridges’ addressing the pressing and emergent concerns of our time in the areas of peace, prosperity and planet.

The top ideas selected from the challenge will receive a total of $1 million in funding (up to $500,00o for one organization), in addition to support provided by experts. All participants will benefit from the platform’s collaborative improvement process and opportunities for connection to new partners and potential funders.

For more information please see the OpenIDEO brief

Currently reviewing 100 great ideas