(Bangkok, 10-12 July 2018) As part of the ongoing Religions for Peace (RfP)-UNICEF Global Partnership, UNICEF and RfP launched a new initiative entitled “Faith for Social and Behavior Change Initiative” at a global workshop in Bangkok from 10-12 July 2018, in partnership with Joint Learning Initiative (JLI) and Rissho Kosei-kai (RKK). The workshop brought together UNICEF country offices and faith-based organizations from more than 30 strategically selected countries.
The initiative is aimed at developing UNICEF’s global programming framework for its headquarters and country offices’ focused, systematic and at-scale engagement with religious communities and actors to influence positive social and behavior change towards improving lives of children from early childhood through the lifecycle, as well as their families, particularly the most marginalized. This historic initiative will strengthen the global evidence base, establishing a co-created programming framework among UNICEF country offices and strategic religious actors and key government counterparts, and will develop a global UNICEF technical guidance for partnership with faith-based organizations (FBOs).
In the opening session, His Majesty Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Co-President of RfP International, Rev. Kosho Niwano, Co-Moderator, RfP International, and Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, Deputy Secretary General, RfP International, offered opening addresses, and representatives of RfP affiliated Interreligious Councils of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand were present among select religious actors to present their concrete cases of religious and interreligious engagement for social behavior change communications for the protection and flourishing of children.