Faith action for children on the move
In 2019 in the framework of the Global Refugee Forum, World Vision International along with partners committed to supporting safe opportunities for interaction between children and young people from refugee and host communities to combat xenophobia and support solidarity; generating best practices about the activities and contributions of local faith actors to refugees’ needs and engagement in the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees; enhancing capacity of local faith actors to apply child protection and safeguarding; and enhancing training for faith actors working with children on the move; and contributing to the continuum of protection.
The UNHCR FBO Task Force
COVID-19 restrictions led World Vision's Faith and Development Programmes to focus on partnership/coalition strengthening at local and global levels, mobilisation of faith actors, increase in prevention literacy around the pandemic, faith literacy, and the influence of policy and accountability mechanisms. A few specific mechanisms focused on supporting refugee and other children on the move include the UNHCR FBO Task Force engagement, the UNICEF ECARO Faith to Action Conference and Global Refugee Forum pledge implementation through the Faith Action for Children on the Move group.
UNHCR FBO Task Force: World Vision is an active member of the UNHCR Faith Based Organisation Task Force and has supported the mobilisation of faith and non-faith actors in response to children on the move including the launch of a Communications Campaign on the role of faith actors in supporting children/caregivers on the move for World Mental Health Week. A detailed work-plan for 2021 has been developed, with four workstreams: Communication, Collective Advocacy, Localisation and Faith Literacy.
- Joint social media campaign and video for World Refugee Day with UNHCR and FBO members of the task force
UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Region (ECAR) Inter-religious Conference Dec 2021
Supporting the UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Region (ECAR) Inter-religious Conference December 2021: to safeguard and protect the rights of children affected by migration. The goal of the Conference was to strengthen partnerships with faith-based organisations and religious communities in the European Union and the Western Balkans to advocate for the integration of refugee and migrant children into national life, and for their protection against all forms of discrimination and xenophobia at both national and regional levels.
Global Refugee Forum Pledge Implementation: The Faith Action for Children on the Move Coalition & The Alliance for the Protection of Children
Global Refugee Forum Pledge Implementation: The Faith Action for Children on the Move Coalition & The Alliance for the Protection of Children: The Faith Action for Children on the Move Coalition is actively supporting faith leaders to care for, protect and support children on the move in 8 countries. World Vision has supported hundreds of faith leaders in Cox's Bazaar and the Syrian refugee response with child protection and safeguarding training. World Vision is also working with faith leaders in the multi-country Venezuela response providing comprehensive health, education and child protection support. The Alliance for the Protection of Children has offered scholarships to members of the National Committees of the Alliance (from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala) to participate in a training course organised by Biblica Virtual focused on strengthening the capacity of faith actors in child protection for children on the move.
In December 2020, the Alliance organised a webinar on "Faith and Children on the move" to strengthen the capacity of more than 55 faith-based communities and organisations to address the situation of the children on the move in Central America. In May 2021, the Alliance launched a Guide for the prevention of violence against children, which includes secondary prevention strategies focused on children most at risk of violence. The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, ACT Alliance, Islamic Relief, and the DCA Learning Lab have developed a new online training tool: Faith Sensitive Humanitarian Response, with a focus on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. The PaRD SDG 3 Health Workstream has commissioned research into the role of faith leaders, MHPSS and children (Webinar 1, Webinar 2, Webinar 3)
Faith Action for Children on the move has committed to building evidence on the role of faith actors for children on the move. A few Joint Learning Initiative (JLI) led studies include:
- Spiritual support for children and their caregivers to promote healing and resilience
- Creating a continuum of protection for children on the move
- Building peaceful societies, opposing xenophobia, racism, and discrimination
Webinars include one on Ending Violence Against Children: Faith Leaders and Communities as First Responders and a series focused on Ending Violence Against Children and Faith, both relevant for children on the move.
Arigatou International launched the "Faith in Action for Children" Campaign, joined by World Vision and more than a dozen other organisations, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign included developing and disseminating several practical resources and materials for local faith actors to support and protect children during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the support to the most vulnerable children, including those in fragile contexts and on the move.
World Vision has launched a $350 million COVID response in more than 70 countries. A key focus includes reaching the most vulnerable, including refugees and internally displaced children and their families. More than 150,000 faith leaders, as trusted local leaders, share essential prevention and care messages with their communities through various methods, including Whatsapp groups, face to face gatherings and other multimedia approaches.