During a consortium focusing on nurturing values and spirituality in early childhood, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reiterated the WCC’s firm commitment to protecting children. His message was read by Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary.
“We have often in this venue addressed the particular needs of children, especially global deficits in healthcare delivery, the need to protect children in their homes and in the churches, and the specific plight of migrant and refugee children," said Phiri.
The consortium, organized by Arigatou International, is being held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva from 3-5 December. The theme is “Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence.”
“Our own commitments in this arena are firm,” said Phiri. “The WCC is strongly committed to buttressing the protection, participation, and well-being of children.”
Participants of the consortium organized by Arigatou International at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC
Nurturing values and spirituality in early childhood goes to the heart of the challenges and gifts that people of faith can bring, added Phiri. “It is the particular genius of this annual consortium to focus your attention and tap your expertise—across disciplines, across organizations, across religious lines, from homes and churches to international fora—on the intimate connections among early childhood formation, conflict resolution or preventing violence, and the prospects for peace,” she said. “We all, whether children or adults, have a vital stake in this work and this future.”
It is incumbent on people of faith to critically examine their own traditions and practices, concluded Phiri. “May your and the consortium’s work find encouragement and energy in your gathering,” she said. “I look forward to learning more about your presentations and discussions as you further explore how fostering values and spirituality can ensure a future of human dignity for all.”