Multi-Religious Collaboration for the Survival and Wellbeing of Children Will Reach Six Million Children in Six African Countries
Kampala, Uganda, 15 March 2013 – Religions for Peace (RfP), in partnership with the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), today launched the Multi-religious Collaboration for the Survival and Wellbeing of Children (MCC) Program in Uganda with more than 365 religious and cultural leaders, government representatives, UNICEF and other stakeholders from various parts of Uganda. This was the start of a five-year initiative to enhance the survival and well‐being of children under-five years of age which will later be expanded to five other African countries - Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Worldwide, more than 7 million children before the age of five die from easily preventable or treatable diseases. Ninety percent of these deaths are in 42 countries, significantly in Africa.
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of RfP, said, “KAICIID is the lead partner in this initiative. Its commitment to advance dialogue among all stakeholders in child survival will translate into saving the lives of vulnerable children. It will align diverse stakeholders to help the families of vulnerable children to serve as the frontlines of protection.” He added, “The Inter-religious Council of Uganda—Religions for Peace (IRCU—RfP) is uniquely well-positioned to advance this important KAICIID-led initiative, due to its pioneering track record of effective multi-religious action. The lessons learned in Uganda will help to guide this KAICIID and RfP initiative.”
His Excellency Faisal Muaammar, KAICIID Secretary General, said, “By bringing these rich and diverse cultures and religions together, through dialogue, we can collaborate to advance the wellbeing of our children, and to empower parents and families to improve their own futures. Care for our children is just one, but perhaps the strongest of values that unites followers of all religions. Therefore, the MCC Program, here in Uganda, Africa, is an obvious area for RfP and KAICIID to begin its work with our valued partner, the Inter-religious Council of Uganda–Religions for Peace.”
His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese and Co-Chair, Council of Presidents of the IRCU-RfP, said, “This Program will plough important new ground even as it builds upon the commitment and expertise of over a decade of concrete inter-religious work in Uganda.”
His Eminence Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, Grand Mufti of the Uganda Supreme Council and a co-founder of IRCU-RfP, stated, “We trust that the lessons of dialogue learned in Uganda in partnership with KAICIID will help empower our sister RfP inter-religious councils across Africa.”
The Honorable Hajat Rukia Isanga Nakadama, Minister of State for Gender & Cultural Affairs, Government of Uganda, praised the MCC Program and the spirit of inter-religious dialogue and cooperation that is being advanced by KAICIID and RfP in partnership with IRCU-RfP.
Mr. Joshua Kitakule, Secretary General of IRCU—RfP, expressed his deep appreciation for the support provided by KAICIID through its partnership with RfP and committed to mobilize and equip faith leaders across diverse religious traditions to promote the widespread adoption of household practices which save the lives of under-five children.
His Majesty King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I, King of Bunyoro and Chairperson, Cultural and Traditional Institutions in Uganda, urged the religious and traditional leaders and other stakeholders to continue the spirit of dialogue in advancing badly needed work to protect the lives and health of children most at risk.
Also present at the launch were Msgr. Dr. John B. Kauta, Secretary General, Uganda Episcopal Conference; His Grace the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda; Pr. Dr. Joseph Serwadda, Presiding Apostle, Born Again Faith in Uganda and Mr. George Ebong, UNICEF.
KAICIID, RfP and IRCU—RfP delegates also held meetings with His Excellency Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Vice President of Uganda and the Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, to apprise them of the launch of the MCC Program.
Contact: Ms. Valerie Nash
Religions for Peace, 777 United Nations, Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USATel: +1212-687-2163 | Fax: +1 212-983-0098 | www.religionsforpeace.org E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org