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A successful Face-to-Face Advance Training carried out in Panama

Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES) through the Office of Safe Social Development, organised an Advanced Training Workshop on the Learning to Live Together Programme (LTLT) that took place in Panama City, Panama from 2 to 3 December 2016. This was the first time that an Advanced Training workshop was held face-to-face.

The workshop addressed 18 facilitators who in July 2016 were already trained on how to use of the LTLT programme and now are implementing it with children, young people and families.

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A Timely Conversation on Values and Spirituality and its Potential to Help Prevent Violence against Children

Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director of Arigatou International Geneva, was invited to participate in the panel discussion “Holistic Approaches to Early Child Development and Education”, in the framework of the 64th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society – CIES 2020, which was converted to virtual format in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Civil Society Organizations and Permanent Missions in Geneva Join Forces for a Childhood Free from Violence

As a lead up to the 2018 Malta High-Level Global Conference that took place in June, Arigatou International Geneva co-sponsored an event on 24 May 2018 together with the Working Group on Children and Violence. The Working Group gathers a number of NGOs in Geneva under the umbrella of Child Rights Connect, to promote actions that prompt violence prevention strategies and protect children who are vulnerable.

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Helping Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect during the Covid-19 Pandemic

As the current pandemic impacts the well-being and development of children, Arigatou International, together with the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, ISPCAN, organized a webinar on The Emotional and Spiritual Impact of COVID-19 on Children: Faith and Spiritual Nourishment as Key Factors for the Protection and Resilience of Children.

This webinar, which was held on 23 April 2020, was attended by 370 participants from 71 countries, and it is part of a series of weekly sessions organized by ISPCAN to support professionals that work toward the prevention and treatment of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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Ideas flow when people talk

"Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking.
It doesn’t have to be the future. With technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded.
All we need to do is make sure we keep talking."
Stephen Hawking

Investing time in building relationships with children:

My mind runs back to a conversation I had with my adorable 7-year-old nephew Aditya Aram over Christmas 2017. We had just returned from a field visit. As we got off the car, he asked ‘Bua - who is the boss at Shanti Ashram?’ The word ‘Boss’ bothered me. Within a fraction of a second, it made me reflect as to what leadership example I was presenting to him. Even as I managed to answer this question, his second question quickly followed, ‘When you die - who will lead?’ To this, I said very honestly, that I had not started thinking about it, but I was sure that someone good and able would be ready to lead. Throughout the conversation, he was engaged, curious and patient and it seemed that just having the space to ask questions and to be in the conversation were important first steps for him. In the week preceding this particular conversation, we had often walked to my office and participated in programmes together. He got to see my work first hand at the International Center for Child & Public Health. For me too, just sharing my daily work & life with him was enriching....and I have come to look forward to my conversations with Aditya. My work with children over the past 20 years has given me the rare privilege of meeting children from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. Interactions with them have often been purposeful, open and constant and it has surely helped me evolve into who I have become.

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INSPIREd Faith Communities in Brazil – Fifth Roundtable on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence

The last of a series of Roundtable Discussions on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence was held in Brasilia on 24 June 2019, and brought together more than 70 participants from several religious communities, experts on early childhood and child protection coming from civil society and faith-based organizations, as well as government representatives.

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International Consortium to develop Toolkit on the Spiritual Development of Children in the Early Years

The International Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, created in 2018 by Arigatou International with the participation of 22 partners and individual experts, is engaged in developing a toolkit on the spiritual development of children in the early years to foster their well-being and help prevent violence in child upbringing. The toolkit is aimed for organizations working with religious communities but will also be flexible enough to be used by others interested in the spiritual development of young children. The purpose of the toolkit is to develop capacity and capabilities of organizations, faith leaders, key actors, and community representatives that work with parents and caregivers, teachers and children.

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Investing in Integrated Services to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children: A conversation at the margins of the Human Rights Council

More than 187 people tuned in for the panel discussion “Investing in Integrated Services to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children,” held online on 17 March 2022 at the margins of the 49th Human Rights Council.

The event was organized by the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and the Child Rights Connect Working Group on Children and Violence, composed of 17 civil society organizations, co-convened by Arigatou International – Geneva and World Vision International.

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LTLT Training Workshop in Peru for the prevention of violence against children

Nurturing ethical values for the prevention of violence against children was the motto adopted for the first Facilitators Training Workshop on the Learning to Live Together Programme, which was recently held in Lima, Peru.

From 31 October to 3 November 2019, 25 participants had the opportunity to get familiarized with the ethics education approach of the LTLT Programme, its principles, and methodologies, in order to customize it and implement it in their communities.

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Online Violence against Children: Another Side Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has pushed millions of children out of school. For many of them, the only way to access education has been through the internet. Even though it is not accessible to everyone, online classes have become the only way for several children to interact with their peers, teachers, and family. But the online world also poses many dangers for children, particularly if they spend many hours connected without direct adult supervision.

To discuss the dangers affecting children in the online world, we interviewed Mr. Iftikhar Mubarik, from Lahore, Pakistan. A father of two, Mr. Mubarik is the Founder and Executive Director of Search for Justice, an organization working to further child rights and protection in Pakistan through awareness and sensitization, capacity building, children participation, organizational strengthening and policy advocacy.

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The Role of Children and Youth in the Prevention of Exclusion, Hatred, and Violence

In its constant efforts to promote children and youth participation in topics that affect them, Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Morocco and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in Geneva, UNICEF, and the Kofi Annan Foundation organized an event titled: “Learning to Live Together: Enhancing Children and Youth Participation to Prevent Exclusion, Hatred and Violence”.

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Toolkit for Nurturing Spirituality in Children - Contributing to Children’s Holistic Development and Well-being

The International Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence is developing a toolkit on the spiritual development of children in the early yearsto foster their well-being and help prevent violence in child upbringing. The toolkit seeks to provide faith-based actors with concrete guidance, tools and examples about how to work with faith communities to nurture the spiritual development of children as well as to contribute to the prevention of violence in early childhood. The ultimate goal of this toolkit is to contribute to children’s holistic development and well-being.

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Uruguay Hosted its First Facilitator Training Workshop Together With Participants from Argentina and Paraguay

Ethics Education for Children was introduced for the first time in Uruguay through a Facilitator Training Workshop on the Learning to Live Together Programme which was held in Montevideo from 26 to 29 September. Participants came from 13 different religious communities, including Bahá’í, Christian, and Jewish, as well as from NGOs working with children and youth in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay.

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Violence against Children in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mrs. Mercedes Román, is the former GNRC Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean and is currently Ethics Education Advisor for the region.

The term “violence against children” refers to very diverse situations. The report of the United Nation’s General Secretary (2006), takes the definition from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 19: “... all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse”, synthesized by David G. Gil as: “situations that prevent the fulfilment of their innate human potential” (Violence Against Children, Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 33, No. 44) The classification made by the Report on Violence from the World Health Organization, WHO (2003) on types of violence –self-inflicted, interpersonal and collective- helps to understand what we are talking about when we refer to violence against children in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

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Violence prevention must start in early childhood

Violence against children is widespread and pervasive, and it often starts in early childhood. As UNICEF’s ‘A Familiar Face’ report notes: shouting, yelling or screaming are common forms of discipline for 1-year-olds; close to 300 million children between 2-4 experience psychological aggression and/or physical punishment by caregivers at home; 176 million children under 5 years of age witness domestic violence. 

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