Religions for Peace (RfP) leadership participated in the official launch of the joint initiative of RfP, UNICEF and Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI): Faith and Positive Change for Children: Global Initiative on Social and Behaviour Change (FPCC) in Washington, DC on 16 October 2019.
At the Launch Reception, welcoming remarks were offered by Henrietta H. Fore [Executive Director, UNICEF] and Imam Mohamed Magid [Executive Imam, All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center; Chairman, International Interfaith Peace Corps; Co-President, RfP].
RfP’s history and expertise in mobilizing religious communities for positive change is apparent throughout the initiative’s engagement of people of faith. FPCC works at all levels including senior religious leaders, broader religious and spiritual communities and with women and youth leaders and networks. In addition, RfP supported the engagement of traditional leaders, as elders within communities often also have strong influence on norms and practices. Faith actors are co-planners and equal partners for this initiative.
Throughout 2018, Deepika Singh [Director of Programs, RfP], Kerida McDonald [Chief of Communication for Development (C4D), a.i., UNICEF] and Jean Duff [Executive Director, JLI] have collaborated on the initiative which has produced the following outputs: mapping technical standards and guidelines for the production of 26 toolkits, documenting case studies of UNICEF-faith actor collaboration in 17 countries, co-creating a Theory of Change, forming an Advisory Group of 20 partner organizations and creating a web platform for the collection and sharing of these resources.
Building on the substantive achievements and strategic partnerships developed in 2018, resources are being field tested, validated and applied in six focal countries in Sub-Saharan Africa during 2019. This will be undertaken through country level workshops, to be anchored in understanding local contexts and in knowledge exchange, with a strong action research and learning agenda. Participants will include UNICEF Country Offices, RfP Inter-Religious Councils, local faith actors, local NGOs and government representatives. The first of these “WorkRocks” took place in South Sudan from 7-11 October with support from the African Council of Religious Leaders-RfP.
RfP is motivated and encouraged by the partnership and success accomplished since the global workshop in Bangkok from 10-12 July 2018 and the more recent success of the “WorkRock” in South Sudan. RfP looks forward continuing our shared journey to transform faith into results and action for the world’s youngest citizens.