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25/09/2017 - Honoring the Bright Life of Sr. Jean Pruitt: A Message from Rev. Keishi Miyamoto

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It is with shock and tremendous sadness that I received the news that Sr. Jean Pruitt, the first GNRC Coordinator for Africa, passed away recently. When I met her at the GNRC Fifth Forum in Panama City this May, she was as full of joy, humor and vigor as ever. She has dedicated her entire life to the children for Africa. Her work for and with children has touched countless lives and inspired people like me all around the world.

I first met Sr. Jean, who has run the Dogodogo Center for street children in Tanzania for decades, at the GNRC First Forum in Tokyo in 2000. Thanks to her support, we were able to invite street children served by the Center to the Conference of Children for Coming Generation that we held in Japan in 2000. The presentation made by Mr. George Daniel, one of the street children from the Center, inspired all the participants, including me, and after that, I personally exchanged letters with him for a while.

Sr. Jean was the very first person to translate our vision for interfaith cooperation for children through the Global Network of Religions for Children into specific, grassroots action to change children's lives in Africa. She organized the East and Southern Africa Network of Religions for Children (ESANRC), the first regional GNRC network in Africa, soon after the GNRC's inauguration in the year 2000 and served as the first GNRC Coordinator for Africa until Dr. Mustafa Ali, who is now GNRC Secretary General, assumed the position in 2003. She also served as Chair of the Local Hosting Committee and contributed to the successful GNRC Fourth Forum held in Tanzania in 2012. Following the Fifth Forum this year, she has been active in following up on the commitments in the Panama Declaration. Sr. Jean was a bright light, and that light she gave will continue to shine in all of our work. 

On behalf of Arigatou International, let me express my sincere condolences to her family, Maryknoll sisters, and to the GNRC Tanzania. We all mourn her and remember her for her tremendous contribution to the GNRC, and to the well-being of children in Africa and around the world. 

Farewell, Sr. Jean. We will miss you. Rest in peace.

Keishi Miyamoto

President, Arigatou International


25/09/2017 - Honoring the Bright Life of Sr. Jean Pruitt: A Message from Rev. Keishi Miyamoto

It is with shock and tremendous sadness that I received the news that Sr. Jean Pruitt, the first GNRC Coordinator for Africa, passed away recently. When I met her at the GNRC Fifth Forum in Panama City this May, she was as full of joy, humor and vigor as ever. She has dedicated her entire life to the children for Africa. Her work for and with children has touched countless lives and inspired people like me all around the world.

I first met Sr. Jean, who has run the Dogodogo Center for street children in Tanzania for decades, at the GNRC First Forum in Tokyo in 2000. Thanks to her support, we were able to invite street children served by the Center to the Conference of Children for Coming Generation that we held in Japan in 2000. The presentation made by Mr. George Daniel, one of the street children from the Center, inspired all the participants, including me, and after that, I personally exchanged letters with him for a while.

Sr. Jean was the very first person to translate our vision for interfaith cooperation for children through the Global Network of Religions for Children into specific, grassroots action to change children's lives in Africa. She organized the East and Southern Africa Network of Religions for Children (ESANRC), the first regional GNRC network in Africa, soon after the GNRC's inauguration in the year 2000 and served as the first GNRC Coordinator for Africa until Dr. Mustafa Ali, who is now GNRC Secretary General, assumed the position in 2003. She also served as Chair of the Local Hosting Committee and contributed to the successful GNRC Fourth Forum held in Tanzania in 2012. Following the Fifth Forum this year, she has been active in following up on the commitments in the Panama Declaration. Sr. Jean was a bright light, and that light she gave will continue to shine in all of our work. 

On behalf of Arigatou International, let me express my sincere condolences to her family, Maryknoll sisters, and to the GNRC Tanzania. We all mourn her and remember her for her tremendous contribution to the GNRC, and to the well-being of children in Africa and around the world. 

Farewell, Sr. Jean. We will miss you. Rest in peace.

Keishi Miyamoto

President, Arigatou International


26/06/2017 - Looking Ahead from the GNRC 5th Forum in Panama

First of all, on behalf of Arigatou International and as Convener of the GNRC, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the valuable contributions not only of all Forum participants, but also of many other supporters of Arigatou International, to the success of the GNRC 5th Forum held in Panama in May 2017. Each successive GNRC forum has built upon what has been achieved by GNRC members and supporters around the world. In this sense, I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude in particular to Ms. Mercedes Roman, who has dedicated herself to the mission of the GNRC since the very beginning of the GNRC in the year 2000 and has been instrumental in making the GNRC in Latin America and Caribbean region what it is today. Without her great contributions and long-time service as GNRC Coordinator for the region and as an advisor, the GNRC 5th Forum in Panama would have never even taken place.

If religious people of different faiths come together in prayer and practice to work for children in collaboration with international organizations, governments and NGOs, we can make a major difference in the lives of children around the world. This was the conviction and aspiration of the late Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, Leader of Myochikai and President of Arigatou International, when he proposed the idea of a worldwide interfaith network for children and inaugurated the GNRC at its first forum in 2000. I believe that the more than 500 participants, including children, who gathered from around the world for the 5th Forum made a very good start with the firm commitments set out in the Panama Declaration. Now, it is up to all of us to work together to deliver on those commitments, to create tangible outcomes in ending violence against children in the months and years ahead.

The real success of every GNRC Forum depends on how we follow up on the commitments made in the forum. Our challenge here is how each of the forum participants, now back in their home contexts, can translate the Panama commitments into concrete actions and then link and connect all of these actions taken by GNRC members, supporters and partners at various levels around the world, in order to make a real difference overall. In other words, even the smallest action in the smallest village can be part of the global initiative for children that we share. And we welcome and encourage action by the children themselves, as active protagonists who can offer the full benefits of their wisdom and unique capabilities to the work of the whole. Arigatou International will not only continue to work with the forum participants, but also invite GNRC members, supporters and people of all walks of life to join us in the moral imperative to put an end to violence against children.


23/05/2017 - GNRC 5th Forum: The Panama Declaration on Ending Violence Against Children

Challenged by the global epidemic of violence against children, we, leaders and members of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions, girls and boys, women and men, from 70 countries, together with representatives of governments, the United Nations, and international and grassroots organizations, met in Panama City, Panama for the 5th Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), from 9-11 May 2017.

Building upon the GNRC’s 17 years of service to the world’s children, we affirm the fundamental dignity of every boy and girl. We reaffirm the moral imperative to protect children from harm, as enshrined and protected in the teachings of all of the world’s religious and spiritual communities and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols. We believe in the power of interfaith cooperation to transform the world.

Download the full Declaration in English or Spanish here.


15/05/2017 - Leaders from World’s Major Religions and Spiritual Traditions Commit to New Joint Efforts to End Violence Against Children

GNRC 5th Forum

 

PRESS RELEASE

ISSUED 14th May 2017 – PANAMA CITY, PANAMA; NAIROBI, KENYA; SANTIAGO; CHILE; TOKYO, JAPAN;

Five hundred faith leaders from 70 countries, joined by representatives of governments, the United Nations, and international and grassroots organizations, have made a solemn commitment to greater effort and cooperation in the cause of ending violence against children. The leaders met in Panama City, Panama for the 5th Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) from 9-11 May 2017, reaffirming the universal “moral imperative to protect children from harm.”

The outcomes of the forum were summed up in “The Panama Declaration on Ending Violence Against Children,” which was adopted enthusiastically by all the participants at the end of the Forum.

The President of the Republic of Panama H.E. Juan Carlos Varela officiated the opening of the Forum, calling for an urgent response from the international community and all of the human family to address the plight of children worldwide. Speaker after speaker, including UNICEF Executive Director Mr. Anthony Lake; UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Preventing Violence Against Children Ms. Marta Santos Pais; Global Partnership and Fund to End Violence Against Children Director Dr. Susan Bissell; HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan; President of the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran; World Council of Churches General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit and WCC Moderator Dr. Agnes Abuom, declared in one voice that it is unacceptable that one billion children worldwide continue to endure physical, psychological or sexual violence.

The leaders thanked Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, President of Arigatou International, for convening the GNRC, calling for more support to end the conditions that cause one child to be killed every five minutes in a violent act, worldwide. The faith leaders promised to reject and speak out against all forms of violence against children. Welcoming participants to the GNRC 5th Forum, Rev. Miyamoto maintained that it is indeed possible to end violence against children if religious and spiritual communities, governments and international as well as multilateral organizations work together.

Noting that the causes of violence against children are complex and varied, including deep-seated cultural, political, familial and socio-economic causes such as poverty and social exclusion, the faith leaders called for “extraordinary and urgent collaboration among religious and spiritual communities, UN agencies, international and multilateral organizations, governments, civil society, the private sector, media — and, most importantly, with children” to end today’s unprecedented violence against children.

The faith leaders and international organizations represented also vowed to “embrace internationally agreed strategies and mechanisms to address violence against children, including the Sustainable Development Goals 16.2 on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children; 5.2 and 5.3 on ending violence against women and girls; and 8.7 on ending economic exploitation of children.”

The First Lady of the Republic of Panama Honorable Lorena Castillo Garcia de Varela, who also attended the GNRC 5th Forum, asked faith leaders to put aside their differences and do all they can to end violence.

The GNRC Forum is organized every five years by Arigatou International to address issues affecting children globally and bring people together to build a peaceful world.

END


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Note to Editors

Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC)
The GNRC is a global-scale interfaith network of organizations and individuals specifically dedicated to securing the rights and well-being of children everywhere. GNRC members come from all of the world’s major religions and many other spiritual traditions. The GNRC is one of the four main initiatives of Arigatou International, a faith-based non-profit organization. Arigatou International works under the motto of “All for Children,” bringing together people from all walks of life to build a better world for children.

Arigatou International
The primary supporter of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), Arigatou International, is a non-profit organization which strives to bring people from all walks of life together to build a better world for children. Arigatou International is “All for Children,” and it draws on universal principles of common good to offer compelling new ways for people of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to work together on children’s issues. Arigatou International develops and sustains unique multi-stakeholder initiatives designed to ensure that all children are treated with dignity, all children’s rights are respected, and all children have the opportunity to freely pursue their full human potential.

 


12/05/2017 - Thematic Discussions on Ending Violence Against Children

“One out of three girls and one out of five boys will be exploited by the age of 18, 90% are by someone they know,” was one of the imperative statements issued by Dr. Alaa Murabit, one of the keynote speakers at the GNRC 5th Forum. Guided by the Forum’s three subthemes namely: the role of Faith Communities in Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime; Nurturing Spirituality and Ending Violence in Child Upbringing; and Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children, faith leaders, professionals, analysts and activists explored the reality of violence against children globally.

Forum Day2 pic7The argument was that very little attention had been put on the issue of violence against children and that religious voices are weak. It was pointed out during various thematic panel discussions that religion plays a vital role in offering spiritual guidance and comfort to children, youth and the community, thus faith leaders should be given more platform to nurture such skills in people. More faith-based and interfaith programs that address child violence should be increased. Extra attention was also given to experience sharing so as to offer an avenue for learning and call to action. It was also pointed out that religious leaders should be ready to take up vital roles in ending violence against children and not wait for the professionals to give them a ‘green light’.

In the case of government policies, it was argued that in other countries bureaucratic procedures might stagnate process of ending violence against children. There is immense fear from religious leaders when going against the government so as to secure a better future for children hence international actors should intervene in looking for better solutions.

Forum Day2 pic6Among the memorable speeches of the forum was that of H.G. Dr. Barry C. Morgan, former Archbishop of Wales and Dr. Alaa Murabit, UN High-level Commissioner on Health, Employment and Economic Growth. Dr. Morgan pointed out that the inherent rights of the child were present in the teachings and traditions of all the world’s major religions and it was up to the faith leaders to uphold and advocate for them. He added that faith leaders have the power to convince societies in which they live, to be strong advocates of children’s rights. They can also challenge those who use religion to condone or ignore violence against children and can partner with agencies to create awareness that violence against children is a human rights violation.

Dr. Murabit challenged the participants on their role of ending violence against children citing that negligence, traditional and cultural practices and denial has contributed to an increase in violence against children globally. She stressed that only the joint efforts of all the stakeholders would end violence against children and that it is high time the society united as one. She concluded with emphasizing the importance of girl child education noting that educating 10% of girls in a country, increases the GDP by 3:2

Arigatou International’s initiatives namely: the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), Ethics Education for Children, Prayer and Action for Children and Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty, got a chance to explain how they work with faith communities and partners to end violence against children.

Participants later split into sub-regions to discuss common problems they have and possible solutions in relations to ending violence against children. The day ended with a cultural event at Ciudad del Saber, where participants got to experience real Panamanian culture through dances, songs, historical stories and attires.


11/05/2017 - The Global Context of Violence Against Children

“One billion of the 2.2 billion children from all walks of life around the world endure different forms of physical and sexual violence, irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, race, religion or income levels.” This was one of the statements echoed on the first day of the Fifth Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children. Five hundred and twenty religious leaders, members of diverse faith communities, government officials, leaders of faith-based organizations, United Nations officials, and representatives of international and grassroots organizations from around the world were present at the opening ceremony. The President, Arigatou International and Convenor GNRC, Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, the organizing and hosting committees of the Forum made remarks during the Forum. Key messages were also given by H.E Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Holy See, H.R.H. Prince El Hassan bin Talal, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches.

Rev Keishi forumIn his remarks, Rev. Keishi Miyamoto decried the continued abuse of children adding that the world would lose its future potential if the trend persisted. He talked about Arigatou International’s efforts to safeguard the rights and well being of the children globally. Rev. Miyamoto applauded the efforts of all the participants in coming to make a better world for children. The president of Arigatou International commented that apart from bringing faith communities to address violence against children, the Forum also aimed to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG16.2 focusing on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.

Panama PresidentThe president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela welcomed the constructive exchange of information and experiences among participating individuals and organizations. He praised Arigatou International for bringing the Fifth Forum to Latin America, in particular to Panama, a country that has had its fair share of violence against children. President Varela revealed that children as young as 12 years had been exposed to crime, drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion and gang violence and called on the world’s religious leaders and human rights defenders to do more to end the violence. “I dream of a world where children are protected from violence, where the economy will thrive because we have protected children- our tomorrow’s future,” said President Carlos Varela in his concluding remarks.

Other key discussions in day one included building of partnerships to end violence against Children, nurturing and promoting a child’s spirituality through positive parenting and the wider community involvement and the role of religious leaders and faith communities in preventing the recruitment of children into radicalized groups of violent extremists, gang violence and organized crime.

The first day of the GNRC 5th Forum concluded with a Dinner Reception Hosted by Rev. Keishi Miyamoto. Hon. Señora Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of the Republic of Panama, government officials, representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations and participants to the Forum attended the dinner.

The GNRC 5th Forum aimed to consolidate and enhance the GNRC’s previous efforts to address violence against children, by focusing on the unique role faith communities in addressing this crisis. Envisioning the potential of faith communities to turn around this crisis, the theme for the GNRC 5th Forum was “Ending Violence Against Children: Faith Communities in Action.”


08/05/2017 - Faith Communities on Ending Violence Against Children

Faith communities in Panama City, Panama have officially announced the upcoming GNRC 5th Forum set to take place in Panama City, Panama. The announcement, which was done at a press conference in Panama on 21st April 2017, was led by Mons. Sidney Fones, Chairman, GNRC 5th Forum International Organizing Committee and Rt. Rev. Julio E. Murray, Chairman, GNRC 5th Forum Hosting Committee. Among other invited guests included the media, government officials and non-governmental organisations.

430 religious leaders from different faith communities from 70 countries and 60 children and teenagers between the ages of 14 - 17 years old, will participate in the Fifth Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). The role of faith communities in addressing child violence—especially through interreligious cooperation—will be the main focus of the Forum.

 

Press Panama3 


22/10/2015 - Arigatou International Flyer

Arigatou International has been working hard on improving our relations with the international community. Arigatou International has produced a flyer which details Arigatou International as a whole, and introduces our four initiatives (GNRC, Ethics Education, Prayer and Action, and End Child Poverty).

We would like to encourage our partners and supporters to print and distribute this flyer in order to further Arigatou International’s cause.

The flyer can be downloaded here.


16/10/2015 - Message for the 2015 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty By Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, President, Arigatou International

Last month, for the International Day of Peace, I wrote about how crucial it is that we build a world where every child can grow up free from violence, safe and sound. But war and armed conflict are not the only forms of violence destroying the precious lives of our children. In fact, it can be argued that poverty is even more violent than war. It certainly claims a terrible number of lives, but the survivors suffer greatly, as well. There are an estimated 1 billion children living in poverty today. It’s difficult even to imagine what such numbers mean.

Simply put, that’s one out of every two children. Think of it as if it were a single family—one child is well-fed, well-dressed, immunized, healthy with regular medical checkups, and has a good school to go to; the other child is malnourished and wasting away, shoeless and sick from easily preventable diseases, with no access to a doctor, and has to work instead of go to school. What an absurd family that would be! We would question the very sanity of the parents! Yet this is the very picture of children in our world, and we—all of us—are the “parents.”

This year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty comes on a very special occasion, just after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations, the first goal of which is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” I would submit that the highest priority—both ethically and pragmatically—must be on the most pernicious form of poverty: child poverty. First of all, we are morally compelled to come to the aid of those who suffer the most from it, and who on their own have the least capacity to fight it—the most vulnerable, the children. But practically speaking, as well, the shortest path to eradicating poverty in the long term is by starting with today’s children—building structures and empowering families to ensure that they escape the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty. I understand that there are many complex factors—not least of which is the presence of violent conflict in so many of the places where children are dying from poverty-related causes—but I find it difficult to believe that harm would be done by thinking first of the children in all of our efforts against poverty. I think this child-first orientation will help guide us all to address not just economic and systemic causes of poverty, but the root causes of poverty that lie in the human heart.

This is the conviction behind our End Child Poverty initiative, a multi-faith, child centered, global initiative that mobilizes faith-inspired resources to end child poverty. With End Child Poverty, we aim to create a world free of child poverty, by addressing both the spiritual and structural root causes of poverty—through theological reflection, prayer and action; interfaith advocacy and lobbying; and supporting partnerships and grassroots projects aimed at eradicating child poverty.

As the international community moves forward with its efforts to eradicate poverty, I would like to take this opportunity to call upon all religious people from all faith traditions to acknowledge and fulfill the special role you have to play in keeping the world’s moral focus on protecting children, on ensuring that every child gets to grow up safe and sound. Let us make ending child poverty the top priority that it already is in our holy books, scriptures, teachings and traditions. Let us keep it constantly before our communities, help our people to develop compassionate, engaged hearts, and devote all the resources we have available to achieving that wonderful first goal of the Agenda for Sustainable Development. What a celebration it will be when we have achieved it!

And this is a time to celebrate and be full of hope. On this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us remember that tremendous, historic progress was made against poverty under the Millennium Development Goals, with some 600 million people lifted out of poverty and, by some estimates, 14,000 more children getting to keep their lives every day. We have proof that great progress is possible when we work together toward a common goal. Let us not falter now, but redouble our efforts to ensure that every child can live free of deprivation and full of hope for a life well lived.

Keishi Miyamoto
October 17, 2015


14/10/2015 - Side Event at the Thirtieth Session of the Human Rights Council

Geneva, 2 October 2015. A side event on Monitoring and Accountability of goals and targets related to Violence Against Children in the Post 2015 Global Sustainable Development Agenda took place on 29 September on the occasion of the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council.

The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations, and organized by the Working Group on Children and Violence of Child Rights Connect.

The purpose of the event was to discuss the best ways to ensure that the monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets related to Violence Against Children is anchored in international human rights standards to allow the international community to keep track of progress, ensure proper implementation and hold States and their partners accountable for their commitments. The discussions focused on the role of States and the existing human rights mechanisms in achieving VAC-related SDGs and targets implementation, monitoring and accountability.

The panellists included H.E. Mr. Ricardo González Arenas, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations in Geneva; Ms. Renate Winter, Vice-Chairperson, Committee on the Rights of the Child; Ms. Nicolette Moodie, Human Rights Specialist, UNICEF; Ms. Roberta Cecchetti, Senior Advocacy and Policy Advisor, Save the Children; Ms. Joanne Dunn, Senior Adviser Strategic Partnerships, Violence Against Children, World Vision International, and via video message from New York, Ms. Marta Santos Pais, UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence Against Children.

More than 50 participants attended the event, with the participation of several Permanent Missions, NGOs and academic institutions. The discussions included the following: the emphasis on the need for more interaction of States with UN Special Procedures, the suggestion to make the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mid-term reports mandatory, mainstream questions and recommendations related to the targets on Violence Against Children in the UPR, and talks of the possibility to create a Child Rights Unit within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Some of the panelists highlighted the need to enhance the quality of recommendations and concluding observations for States, as well as the need for more effective mechanisms to assess proper follow up of actions.

Ms. Marta Santos Pais expressed the importance of including target 16.2 related to “ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children”, as a distinct dimension of treaty bodies reporting guidelines for states parties.

Speaking about the need for consistency, efficiency and coordination between different reporting processes, H.E. Mr. Gonzalez expressed the importance of coordination at the national level between different review mechanisms, for instance human rights institutions, decision-making bodies, local government authorities, and any other national and local reporting mechanisms.

The participation of civil society and children was also recorded as key in monitoring and accountability processes, particularly allowing children to help in the design of monitoring processes at the national level, allowing their involvement at the governance level.

Overall, the panelists advocated for coordination of the Human Rights mechanisms with the High Level Political Forum, and the importance of cross-pollination of processes at the national, regional and international levels. The need to strengthen national data collection systems and their reliability to ensure disaggregated information was mentioned by most of the panelists, as well as the need for clear indicators to ensure proper monitoring and accountability.

Discussions will continue to take place in Geneva in 2016 with the collaboration of the Permanent Missions. It is expected that the topic and recommendations can be included in next year’s resolution of the Annual Day on the Rights of the Child.

The Working Group on Children and Violence is a member of Child Rights Connect and is co-convened by Arigatou International and World Vision International. It is formed by more than 14 child rights organizations.


20/09/2015 - Message for International Day of Peace 2015

Today, on the International Day of Peace, I would like to add my voice to the worldwide chorus of people longing for peace in these troubled times.

I thank and honor all those who are facing today’s violence by speaking out for peace and working diligently to make it a reality. I call upon everyone currently caught in conflict to observe this day of cease-fire and non-violence. And I rededicate myself to doing all that I can to help build a world of true and lasting peace.

The theme of the 2015 International Day of Peace, “Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All,” resonates powerfully with us at Arigatou International. Building partnerships to restore dignity — especially to children — is at the heart of all of our programs. After all, “peace” is a relational phenomenon, a form of partnership. It only happens between people. And it can’t be made without people—people who treat one another with dignity despite their differences and disagreements.

This is why we try to bring people of extremely diverse religious, ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds together as partners in our work. The more diverse the partners, the greater the peace-building potential. Our focus on children helps us to reach across boundaries that usually can’t be crossed—almost everyone can agree that children deserve to grow up safe and sound, to have the chance to realize their full human potential. We have found that the partnerships inspired by this belief have great transformative potential. Not only do they transform conditions facing children; they also transform us and our partners. With gratitude for everyone who works with us, we hope to demonstrate this process of “making peace” together. That’s what we mean by “All for Children.”

Peace, like a hearty soup that warms the soul, requires many different ingredients, from many different partners. At Arigatou International, we strive to add ingredients that are especially nourishing for children—ingredients of peace-making like interfaith cooperation, ethics education, stopping violence, and ending poverty. We are convinced that working with and for children across every kind of difference in this diverse world is an essential path to peace. So in that light, I wish you and your community a very peaceful day today. Indeed, may every day find every one of us continually embraced in growing peace!

Keishi Miyamoto
President, Arigatou International

21 September 2015


17/09/2015 - Message for International Day of Peace 2015

Today, on the International Day of Peace, I would like to add my voice to the worldwide chorus of people longing for peace in these troubled times. I thank and honor all those who are facing today’s violence by speaking out for peace and working diligently to make it a reality. I call upon everyone currently caught in conflict to observe this day of cease-fire and non-violence. And I rededicate myself to doing all that I can to help build a world of true and lasting peace.

This is why we try to bring people of extremely diverse religious, ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds together as partners in our work. The more diverse the partners, the greater the peace-building potential. Our focus on children helps us to reach across boundaries that usually can’t be crossed—almost everyone can agree that children deserve to grow up safe and sound, to have the chance to realize their full human potential. We have found that the partnerships inspired by this belief have great transformative potential. Not only do they transform conditions facing children; they also transform us and our partners. With gratitude for everyone who works with us, we hope to demonstrate this process of “making peace” together. That’s what we mean by “All for Children.”The theme of the 2015 International Day of Peace, “Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All,” resonates powerfully with us at Arigatou International. Building partnerships to restore dignity — especially to children — is at the heart of all of our programs. After all, “peace” is a relational phenomenon, a form of partnership. It only happens between people. And it can’t be made without people—people who treat one another with dignity despite their differences and disagreements.
Peace, like a hearty soup that warms the soul, requires many different ingredients, from many different partners. At Arigatou International, we strive to add ingredients that are especially nourishing for children—ingredients of peace-making like interfaith cooperation, ethics education, stopping violence, and ending poverty. We are convinced that working with and for children across every kind of difference in this diverse world is an essential path to peace. So in that light, I wish you and your community a very peaceful day today. Indeed, may every day find every one of us continually embraced in growing peace!

Keishi Miyamoto
President, Arigatou International
21 September 2015

 



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