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World Wide Day of Prayer 2023

The Worldwide Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk is a global initiative held during the first weekend of June every year, uniting hundreds of thousands of adults and children in prayer. It is an initiative created twenty-seven years ago by Viva, an Oxford based charity. In 2022 over 800 000 children and adults in 25 countries got involved. The campaign is implemented in Brazil by our partner Maos Dadas Network. The materials are translated and adapted into Portuguese and distributed to child focused NGO’s all over Brazil. Happy Child International encourages all its partners to participate in this important global prayer campaign.

This year the campaign’s theme is God’s World: Our Home and has real significance for the projects we serve. Last year our friends and colleagues at the Coqueiral Baptist Church and Instituto Solidare experienced a terrible time of distress right in the community that the church and project serve. The Tejipió River overflowed reaching heights seen only in the 1970s. It flooded the homes of 4,000 people and even reached the first floor of the church building. Some homes were completely immersed in the dirty water.

Around the world, one in five children grow in a continual fight against the hazards of contaminated water. One of the communities Happy Child International assists has 4,400 living there in subnormal conditions, underneath high voltage electricity cables with no basic sanitation infrastructure, existing in a kind of urban purgatory. Just to give you an idea of the reality of such a situation, fifty percent (50%) of the people living in Sapo Nu are under 25 years old, and 1,100 of this number are children.

Whoever loves children needs to care for the environment where they live. Our partner, Instituto Solidare, created a first responder’s brigade (responsible for rescuing around 400 families in the last flood). They are also actively involved in putting pressure on the local authorities to clean the river to mitigate the flooding issue.

Whoever loves creation, need to be concerned with the people who suffer the impact of climate change the most. This year the World Wide Day of Prayer for children and young people who are socially vulnerable invites you, your church and those you know to reflect, consider or pray for those who are impacted adversely by climate change, for those who live in places where there is uncertainty about the future because of climate change.

Below are some practical points of prayer for children all around the world who may be suffering from the effects of climate change. Mudslides, floods, contaminated water, droughts, deforestation, food shortages, are just a few things that negatively impact millions of children around the world.

To bring change please pray that:

  • Governments, through the implementation of public policies, will ensure that all children have the right to live in a healthy environment.

  • Children receive training and knowledge that will help them become agents of protection and change to the environments they live in.

  • Public policy will prioritise the protection of children and women led households when extreme climate incidents occur and negatively impact their home lives.

  • Children, particularly girls will be spared from undertaking adult focused work in times of severe drought.

  • For love of children and the willingness to preserve their present and to leave to their future a place they can call home.

Written by Elsie Gilbert and translated by Caroline Taylor


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