We want to hear from you! Tell us how you have been implementing the ethics education programs, your experience and how it has impacted your work, the children and youth who go through the program and the community around.

If you are interested to share your story, please contact us.

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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“Saada and Suleina are sisters living in a community where child marriages are still practiced. The two sisters are school-going teenagers but their parents decide to marry them off, in line with the community’s customs. The marriage plans and procedures are concluded, making Saada and Suleina wives to two men in the community. But that did not last long for Saada, thanks to her relentless will to be educated. She boldly defies her parents and the community, walking away from her marriage to pursue her education. She secures a scholarship guaranteeing her to continue her education away from her home. All this time, Saada has tried convincing her sister Suleina to follow suit but she declines, citing her adherence to community norms.

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The Children’s Parliament in India engaged more than 300 children from nine villages in discussions to brainstorm what could be done to address issues related to education, health care and livelihoods. It was the mass school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that motivated the children to decide on solutions to support access to education. As a result of the school closures and education suddenly shifting to digital spaces, the children had discovered that most public-school students in the villages could not afford digital gadgets and access to the internet to continue attending classes online. This left them out of education and the school environment to the point that younger children even started forgetting the basics of the alphabet and numbers.

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Ms. Nageeba Hassan has been at the forefront of the implementation and training on the Learning to Live Together Programme in Uganda, reaching children, parents, and teachers through Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC), an organization that she co-founded in 2004.

A teacher by profession, she has expertise in the fields of counseling, positive parenting, meditation, negotiation, interreligious dialogue, and intercultural learning. Her hard work and passion have taken her to many countries, training teachers and educators on ethics education for children, and speaking about interfaith collaboration. Her persistency and drive have helped her make real changes in the lives of many children in Uganda, their families, and their communities.

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Since 2011, the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme has been making headway in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the leadership of Ms. Ismeta Salihspahić, local GNRC Coordinator, and one of the main advocators of the Programme in the country. In the past couple of years, the Programme has reached more than 400 students annually, in six different schools, fostering solidarity and mutual understanding among children from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

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Since May 2019, teachers in the counties of Baringo and Elgeyo-Marakwet, in Kenya, have been systematically implementing the Learning to Live Together Programme among students from 30 schools, following the Teachers Activity Book developed for the implementation process.

This is the outcome of the 4-days Facilitator Training Workshop help in April 2019, for 64 teachers on the use of the LTLT Programme. The workshop was organized by World Vision Kenya, and KNATCOM, with the technical support of Arigatou International - Geneva.

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Ms. Mercedes Román has been a key driving force in the implementation and dissemination of the Learning to Live Together Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) since before it’s conception. She was part of the first group of experts, gathered by Arigatou International in 1998, to work on the launch of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), and has been working with Arigatou International ever since.

As GNRC Coordinator for Latin America, she conducted several test workshops in the region to try out what was then known as the Ethics Education Toolkit. After the launch of Learning to Live Together, she has conducted countless Facilitator Training Workshops in the region, as well as Europe.

Ms. Román has dedicated her life-work to serve the most vulnerable in our society, and to promote the rights of the child, to contribute to their full and sound development. Nowadays, she is the Senior Advisor for the GNRC in LAC and is also part of the group of experts working in the adaptation of the Learning to Live Together Programme to middle childhood years.

In this interview, she shares about her journey working with children and women in vulnerable situations, and how her family and religious background instilled in her a strong sense of justice, generosity and caring for the most needed members of society.

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The Learning to Live Together Programme (LTLT) was first introduced to Indonesia during a facilitator training workshop conducted by GNRC South Asia and Arigatou International – Geneva, in partnership with the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO in 2012 and with the help of Ms. Wati Wardani and Mr. Fendra Kusmani. Since then, it has reached more than 1,000 children in more than 30 schools in the country.

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“In 2007 at Azania Secondary School, I overhead from my classmates about the Peace Club initiative at school. "Peace?" I asked, not sure why I was intrigued, but after one meeting I became overly interested in the idea to take an active peacebuilding role.” This is how Yusuph Masanja, Coordinator of GNRC (Global Network of Religions) Tanzania, describes his first contact with the GNRC Peace Clubs. Since then, he has stayed on the front line advocating for the GNRC mission.

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After participating in the Second International Train the Trainers in April 2017, the 27 new official trainers have been putting into practice all their learnings and moving ahead across a wide range of areas, designing new programs for facilitators, crafting projects to foster peacebuilding, interfaith collaboration, and children and youth participation, as well as working for the prevention of violence against children.

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