This year, Arigatou International–Geneva shared its expertise at 20 international conferences and co-organized three advocacy events. Our participation focused on promoting the critical role of ethics education for children in building peaceful and inclusive societies. We also highlighted the significance of intercultural and interreligious learning as an essential aspect of improving the quality of education.
Furthermore, we raised awareness about the importance of the spiritual development of children, recognizing its critical role in fostering their well-being and protection from violence, as part of our work with the Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, that Arigatou International convenes.
Through these efforts, we reached more than 1,300 stakeholders, including representatives of United Nations agencies, Permanent Missions in Geneva, governments, ministries of education, civil society and faith-based organizations, academia, educators, and children and youth.
Ethics Education to Contribute to Peaceful and Inclusive Societies
As part of the Transforming Education Pre-Summit held in Paris from June 28 to 30, Arigatou International – Geneva organized a side event focused on ethics education for children and its role in fostering peaceful and inclusive societies.
This collaborative event was co-organized with the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building, the Ministry of Education of Kenya, the Ministry of Education of Indonesia, and the UNESCO National Commission for Kenya. Speakers from these institutions, along with a former member of the GNRC Children’s Committee, shared their valuable work and experiences in implementing ethics education programs in their countries. The discussions focused on identifying gaps, challenges, and opportunities within this field.
The side event served as a platform for knowledge-sharing and reflection about the need to integrate ethics education into curricula, programs and policies. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, the event facilitated meaningful discussions recognizing the transformative potential of ethics education in shaping a better world.
“The subjects like maths, science, and literature in school will lead children to become professionals in the respective areas. But ethics education will make them responsible humans to think about their roles in shaping a better world”
Mr. Aakash Ramankutty
Ethics Education Youth Leader, Shanti Ashram, India
Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of UNESCO-IICBA
Mr. Aakash Ramankutty, Ethics Education Youth Leader, Shanti Ashram, India
Dr. Itje Chodidjah, Executive Chairperson, Indonesia National Commission for UNESCO
Ms. Mary Kangethe, Director, Education Program, Kenia National Commission for UNESCO
Ms. Eleonora Mura, Head of Partnerships and Organizational Development, Arigatou International
Countering Racism and Discrimination: The Nexus to Building Pluralistic and Diverse Societies
Arigatou International – Geneva conducted a workshop on 9 March 2023 to present its work to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations fellows. The fellows were in Geneva as part of a training to learn about organizations working to promote intercultural and interreligious learning and peacebuilding.
During the workshop, they got acquainted with the Ethics Education Approach and how it can serve as a tool for challenging prejudices and deconstructing stereotypes.
“Mutual understanding and respect are the foundations of a peaceful world. Our framework provides the necessary tools and knowledge to achieve this goal. That is why I advocate Ethics Education for all.”
Ms. Vedika Schukla
Advocacy and External Relations Officer, Arigatou International – Geneva
Check out all the events we contributed to this year:
The Role of Peace Education in the COVID-19 Recovery – Perspectives From Young People Working at the Grassroots
19 April 2022
Organized by United Religions Initiative, as a side event to the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2022
The Convergence of Science and Theology: Activating the Church to Invest in Young Children Globally
📍South Bend, USA
Organized by the University of Notre Dame’s Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child
25-26 April 2022
European Council of Religious Leaders – Council Meeting
Organized by Religions for Peace
7 to 9 June 2022
European Council of Religious Leaders Birmingham Declaration
Urban Challenges to Integration Ahead of European Policy Dialogue Forum
09 June 2022
Organized by the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), the Network for Dialogue, and the European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL)
Welcoming the Stranger, Shaping the Future – Conference
20-21 June 2022
Organized by the Lutheran World Federation, Islamic Relief Worldwide and HIAS
Are We Educating for Peace or War?
22 June 2022
Organized by Up2U
Moral Injury Research Retreat
📍Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Boston
1-3 August 2022
Organized by Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social
Science in collaboration with the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University and the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities.
High-level Side Event: World Day for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Elimination and Healing
📍New York, USA
23 September 2022
Organized by Global Collaborative, the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN in New York, and Arigatou International
Building New Bridges Together – International Conference
17-19 October 2022
Organized by Globethics.net
X National Congress of Catholic Education in Chile – Religious Education in Interreligious Contexts
25-26 October 2022
Organized by the Education Department of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, Santillana, the Church of Jesus of the Latter Saints and CONEDI.
PaRD’s Annual Forum on Religion and Sustainable Development
31 October – 3 November 2022
Organized by PaRD – International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development
4th European Policy Dialogue Forum on Refugees and Migrants
9 -10 November 2022
Hosted by the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID); Network for Dialogue (N4D); Blanquerna Observatory of Communication, Religion and Culture; European Council of Religious Leaders-Religions for Peace Europe; and Institut Superior de Ciències Religioses de Barcelona
G-20 Interfaith Summit
📍Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
12-13 December 2022
Organized by G20 Interfaith Forum
A New Perspective for a Strategy on Child Dignity in the Digital World
7 February 2023
Organized by the Italian Embassy to the Holy See and SOS – Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus.
The Family’s Role in Elevating the Next Generation
23 February 2023
Organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the sponsorship of The Permanent Missions of the Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Geneva
G20 Interfaith Forum Webinar
13 March 2023
Organized by the G20 Interfaith Forum
Article on the Child Right to Spiritual Development for the Inter-American Children’s Institute
The Inter-American Children’s Institute invited Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director of Arigatou International – Geneva, to write an article for the 13th edition of the IINfancia Newsletter. In her article, “The Rights of the Child to Spiritual Development – A holistic approach to children’s wellbeing,” Ms. Uribe addresses the lack of recognition and understanding of the right of children to spiritual development.
The article (found in page 47) invites readers to explore spirituality as “the connection and relation with the self, with others, with nature, and with that which is referred as God, the Divine, the Transcendent or Ultimate Reality.” Ms. Uribe makes a case for the benefits of spiritual development in children and provides concrete recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to prioritize the spiritual development of children as part of their education.