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Hurricane-affected children in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala

A church is used for psychosocial support activities with recreational activities for children affected by the storms Eta and Iota the Motagua River flooded the Jimeritos Community, Izabal, Puerto Barrios Guatemala. 

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“The report shows how churches are committed to protecting children at the grassroots level, and how they can have a greater impact when collaborating with organisations like UNICEF,” said WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca. “The good practices of churches supporting climate justice and youth, promoted by a WCC toolkit, are good concrete examples of how this partnership can be fruitful.”

The report presents essential milestones of the WCC work for and with children. Building on the declaration by churches at the WCC 10th Assembly, “Putting Children at the Centre,” the partnership with UNICEF was launched in 2015. It led to the development of the “Churches’ Commitments to Children”—an action plan developed with churches, child rights experts and children themselves—responding to the question: How can churches best use their influence to improve children’s lives?

UNICEFs decades-long work with religious actors is guided by our mutual understanding of the importance of serving the worlds most vulnerable populations. We are bound together by the moral imperative of caring for the wellbeing of children,” said Paloma Escudero, director of UNICEF’s Division of Global Communication and Advocacy. “The pillars of the Churches’ Commitment to Children – child protection, climate justice and the promotion of child participation – are key ingredients of the future we strive to achieve for every child.”

Today the WCC-UNICEF partnership and the Churches’ Commitments to Children allow for mutual support and capacity building worldwide – increasing the impact of churches and ecumenical partners who protect children, promote children’s meaningful participation, and support their initiatives for climate justice.

“I am delighted to see the collaboration between our organisations flourishing across all regions,” says Frederique Seidel, WCC programme executive for Child Rights, who worked closely with UNICEF and the Commission of Churches on International Affairs to develop the partnership.

You can read examples of achievements in the report here 

Learn more about the WCC work on Children

 Churches Commitments to Children