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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.

The Toolkit will include a framework that highlights the elements that support the spiritual development of young children, with consideration of different age groups; guidelines on how organizations can integrate the spiritual development in the early years in their existing and new holistic development interventions, strengthening understanding of the impact of violence on young children through research and empirical evidence; good practices from organizations, case studies and resources, as well as monitoring and evaluation guidelines. 

A Technical Team composed by Arigatou International, Catholic Relief Services, Early Childhood Peace Consortium, Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, Pastoral da Crianca in Brazil, UNICEF and World Vision International, will support the work of a consultant who will be leading this work. 

The first technical meeting will take place from 2 – 4 June and it is expected that the Toolkit will be ready by the end of the year, following a consultative process with several stakeholders. 

The International Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, brings together civil society and faith-based organizations, religious communities, multilateral organizations, academia and individual experts to foster collaboration to share good practices and develop evidence-based and innovative approaches to end violence in early childhood and foster children’s well-being.

The consortium focuses on children’s ethical and spiritual development through advocacy, research, the creation of tools, and replicable practices in religious communities that support parents, caregivers and the community as a whole in creating safe, healthy and loving environments that affirm children’s human dignity.  The consortium develops evidence-based materials to support holistic approaches to early childhood development that consider the external and structural factors that affect child upbringing.

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