Credit: Arigatou International

Churches' support for children during the COVID-19 pandemic

How can churches help protect a vulnerable person from abuse and violence during confinement? 

How can churches support children during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Check out the responses by Frederique Seidel, WCC senior advisor on child rights and WCC COVID-19 Support Team.

How can churches help protect a vulnerable person from abuse and violence during confinement?

Confinement at home and isolation from other community members, school, workplaces and neighbours increases the risks of violence many children and adults are already facing. The helping role and impact of faith leaders has been widely recognised and documented.

Join the global campaign “Faith in Action for Children,” aimed at strengthening efforts to keep children safe during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the increased risks of child sexual abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look at the Out of the Shadows toolkit developed by the WCC for churches.

Equip Sunday school teachers with information about the tollfree national helpline numbers for their group members and by promoting awareness on tips and resources.

If there is no support service in place in your country: urge your government and municipalities to put such services in place. If there is no progress, consider seizing the UN Human Rights urgent procedures and review the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right’s COVID-19 actions available.

How can churches support children during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Churches play an important role in supporting children whose challenges are exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Sunday school facilitators and teachers of church-run schools are well placed to keep in contact with the children in their communities, provide spiritual support, share educational, protective and entertaining resources adapted to confinement, and let them know where to find help if they are at risk.

Check out the UNCEF COVID-19 information centre

Some churches were able to develop child-focused COVID-19 resources, such as the puppet web series for the youngest ones, developed by the Anglican church in Canada.

Churches can access and share support materials through the Faith for Positive Change for Children initiative, for which WCC is an Advisory Group member.

You can also help children see the opportunity for lasting systems changes in the COVID-19 crisis, and encourage them to participate in building back better.

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Responses by Frederique Seidel, WCC senior advisor on child rights and WCC COVID-19 Support Team.

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org