Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence Delivers New Advocacy Booklets

Affirming the human dignity of young children, and fostering their spiritual development and right to grow up in safe, healthy, and loving environments

In 2019, the Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence developed INSPIREd Faith Communities: Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, a set of five country-specific advocacy booklets to raise awareness about the importance of children’s wellbeing during the early years.

The booklets connect theological reflections with neuroscience to support parents, caregivers, educators, and their communities to provide nurturing care and safe environments for children, aiming to prevent all forms of violence. The set of booklets was built based on the reflections collected during five roundtable discussions organized in Brazil, India, Kenya, Lebanon and Sri Lanka.

More than 600 religious leaders, representatives from governments as well as faith-based and civil society organizations, experts on children’s issues, academics, pediatricians and educators took part in these roundtable discussions. Focusing on the importance of early childhood and the deleterious impact of violence on children’s development, participants presented and discussed the latest findings from the fields of neuroscience on how early childhood experiences shape brain architecture. The discussions also served as venues for understanding and gathering valuable local knowledge on how to nurture values and spirituality in the family, schools, religious communities and society at large, and to reflect together on ways to challenge social and cultural norms that condone violence in early childhood.

Advocacy Booklets

The advocacy booklets are part of the Consortium’s commitment to developing materials to support holistic approaches to early childhood that contribute to the prevention of violence against children. They provide reflections, local examples, and concrete ideas on how to bring about change at all levels of society. Through these resources, the members of the Consortium seek to inspire individual and collective action.

INSPIREd Faith Communities was made possible by the INSPIRE Fund. This project is a contribution to INSPIRE – Seven Strategies to End Violence Against Children, an evidence-based technical package initiated by the World Health Organization to support countries in their efforts to prevent and respond to violence against children.

What’s Next?

In 2020, the Consortium will develop a toolkit to help faith-based organizations and faith actors better support the spiritual development of children in the early years.

 The toolkit will include concrete approaches to integrate the spiritual development of children as part of their holistic development in the early years, to foster their well-being and help prevent violence in their upbringing.

The purpose of the toolkit is to develop the capacities and capabilities of faith-based organizations and other religious groups who work with parents, caregivers, teachers and children. The toolkit will also be useful for civil society organizations interested in working with faith communities for the well-being of children in the early years.

Advocacy Events

Presenting the linkages between Nurturing Spirituality in Early Childhood Development and the Prevention of Violence

Annual International Step by Step Association (ISSA) Conference

Nurturing Environments for the Wellbeing of Children and Their Family​

Arigatou International – Geneva, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation, organized a panel discussion on “Strengthening Families in order to Nurture Ethical Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence: Working with Religious Communities.”

Implementation Jamboree

Advancing evidence-based action to end violence against children through INSPIRE dissemination, implementation and monitoring

Arigatou International – Geneva attended the event as the convener of the Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, and presented its implementation of the INSPIRE toolkit through the INSPIREd Faith Communities project.

Geneva Peace Week

Arigatou International – Geneva organized a panel discussion on “Enhancing Peacebuilding Initiatives with the Integration of Early Childhood Development Programs” in collaboration with Make Mothers Matter, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and the World Council of Churches, to discuss the importance of the spiritual development of children in the early years and the work of the Consortium.

About the Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality In Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence

The Consortium, convened by Arigatou International, brings together civil society and faith-based organizations, religious communities, multilateral organizations, academia and individual experts to foster collaboration, share good practices and develop evidence-based and innovative approaches to integrate values-based education and spirituality in early childhood for the prevention of violence and the holistic development of children.

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