The Rights of Children, elevated in prayer and reaffirmed in festivities. Counting 180 people in attendance, including some 100 children and youth under the age of 18, the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children in Ecuador was celebrated in the auditorium at the Central Bank in Quito.
Event organizers, the members of the GNRC acting committee, belong to the Catholic, Episcopal, and Lutheran Churches, the Bahá’í Faith and CLAI. Also accompanying the event were members of the Jewish Community and World Vision. A festive environment prevailed as the event began with the following program:
Ricardo Mazzarelli and Patricia Morck, who were the hosts representing the Steering Committee, welcomed everyone, and explained the purpose of the Day, its Vision and Mission. Susana Alvarez presented the program, and in the form of a story, informed on the origin of GNRC and its development.
A young girl, Shyrin Guerrero of the Bahá’í Community, reaffirmed the religious element in the event, intoning a prayer by Bahá’u’lláh, with the following words: Blessed is the spot, and the house and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and his praise glorified.”
Subsequently, video shots of a few of the rights of children were projected, and their importance was explained by Leidy
Torrente, another member of the acting committee. Then children from three communities, using the artistic resource of theater, presented three fundamental rights from their vision: the right to play, to have a family and not to work. Likewise, they presented a dance and the “song of the rights.”
Previously, as part of preparations for the celebration of the Day, children had participated in weekly workshops on the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The product of the reflection and learning in those workshops was expressed in drawings presented at the event. This was a moment called “the Race of the Rights.” The children took the stage to place their artwork and express out loud the rights they made reference to, building the “wall of rights.” At this moment there was participation by students at the “Children of Mary” Catholic School from San José de la Comuna, and youngsters from the Bahá’í Community.
Following the moment that focused on the rights of children, the program turned to cultural presentations, this time with dances presented by the children themselves.
The event closed with the GNRC’s Latin-American Prayer. Different paragraphs were recited by representatives of the communities attending. The prayer was then handed out on cards.
In his closing remarks, Rev. Nilton Giese, CLAI Secretary General, thanked all the attendants and representatives of the different religious expressions that had come. Lastly, refreshments were shared with the children, and coffee and juice for the adults.
This report was prepared by Susana Álvarez.