The Christian education programme encourages the full involvement of children, adolescents and youth in becoming early proponents of nonviolence. Developed for children's Bible study leaders, teachers, parish volunteers, and others who work with children, the curriculum serves as a guide to help churches live into their responsibility to protect all children, girls and women from gender-based violence.
"Violence continues to spread in our societies not only among adults but also among children, adolescents and youth,” reflected Ayoko Bahun-Wilson, regional coordinator for the WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme in West Africa. “This pedagogical tool, based on a playful methodology and a participatory approach, is made available to instructors to help develop trusting relationships between children and to make them essential actors.”
Some of the material is based on the objectives of the WCC’s Child Safeguarding Policy. Laurent Veyrat Durebex, WCC human resources manager, said he believes the new publication is a unique tool that not only churches but all people of goodwill can use to help protect those most vulnerable to gender-based violence. “It is about tools to make children actors and confident in God's love,” he said.
Frederique Seidel, WCC senior Advisor on Child Rights, noted that protection from violence is an essential pillar of the Churches' Commitments to Children, a WCC initiative in partnership with UNICEF promoting capacity building for churches’ support to children.
“But it is not easy to address gender-based violence and the risk of sexual violence in a school context and in catechetical groups,” she said. “Through this new pedagogical tool, facilitators will be supported by a playful methodology adapted to 7-12 year olds. The role of education is essential to develop respectful relationships between all."