WORLD DAY OF THE BOY CHILD – Trinidad and Tobago

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Boy Child Protection Social Inclusion Initiative

Created under the International Men’s Day umbrella, “World Day of the Boy Child” was inaugurated in 2018 by Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D.

There is a need to protect the boy child from the harmful influences of society. There is an urgent need to focus on the home and school in order to save the boy child. The boy child lives in a turbulent social environment that makes him vulnerable to a multitude of negative forces. If a boy child is neglected or fed a diet of hate and violence it is obvious he will develop into a teenager who is misguided and confused. And the next crucial transition into manhood will be even more difficult. Too many of our boys are invisible and forgotten. Each boy is important and in this race for life, nobody should be left behind.

The annual observances of World Day of the Boy Child, on May 16, serve as a platform for individuals, organizations, and institutions to improve the manner in which we protect our boys and reclaim our heritage.  Supporters of World Day of the Boy Child attempt to rewrite the narrative on strength and masculinity by equating strength with vulnerability. This persons work with key stakeholders with whom boys and adolescent young males would engage in discussions with educators, school administrators, law enforcement professionals, legal professionals, health care professionals and providers, social services professionals and providers, parents, legislators, business leaders, and Fatherhood and Men’s Issues advocates and practitioners.

The objectives of World Day of the Boy Child, on May 16, include supporting existing initiatives which have a successful track record of addressing and helping to reduce or eradicate critical issues like: Academic underperformance of boys and adolescent males, rising incidence of depression and suicide among boys and adolescent males, their recruitment and utilization as child soldiers. Also, underlying causes of poverty which lead to boys and adolescent males working full-time to support their families and not attending school, among others.

To achieve these objectives, the platform proposes different alternatives. First, the employment of male educators in Fatherless household communities. Second, Design and implement of both, a Literacy Initiative and “male-inclusive” curricula. Third, offer emotional, psychological and essential decision-making tools. This includes implement in their curricula a mandatory anger management and conflicts resolution training.

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More on:

https://www.bmanadvocacy.org/2019/04/18/world-day-of-the-boy-child-16-may-2019-protecting-our-boys-reclaiming-our-heritage/

Zakaria El Hamel- Morocco

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Young Dedicated Human Rights and Peace Activist

Mr Zakaria El Hamel as a dedicated Human rights and Peace Activist in Morocco, is encouraging a new Generation to stand up for peace and human rights in turbulent Arabic World.

Zakaria El Hamel, 36 years old, is so important for Morocco: for almost two decades, Zakaria has dedicated himself to creating a culture of tolerance and understanding by instilling an awareness and appreciation of human rights. Born in the city of Berkane in northwestern Morocco, Zakaria was introduced to equality and religious diversity at a very early age. He studied law in university, and in 2005 he founded ‘‘Youth for Peace and Dialogue between Cultures’’ in Oujda, where he now lives.

As the President of youth for Peace and Dialogue, Zakaria began to meet and collaborate with national and international active human rights groups to promote intercultural action. In August 2010, he took part in the Youth Summit for Human Rights International (YHRI) at the United Nations in Geneva as the Youth Delegate from Morocco. This event gave him a new inspiration in the following years to help protect the country from the growing threat of fanaticism in nearby lands by promoting all human rights, including freedom of religion and expression.

Zakaria reached further for even more help: Working alongside religious leaders from the Catholic, Islamic, Christian and Methodist faiths, Zakaria next staged an interfaith event in the Saint Louis Church in Oujda. This celebrated ‘‘World    Interfaith Harmony Week’’- a United Nations initiative to increase peace, tolerance and mutual understanding between different faiths.

With the contribution of different organizations, he has promoted human rights, respect for freedom of expression, thought and belief, through workshops and conferences. With his message he has reached street vendors, children, young leaders of schools and groups in different towns and cities throughout the country. From the Moroccan Observatory of Education and the National Council on Human Rights to the United Religions Initiative, more than twenty organisations and groups formed alliances. Together, they now work with Zakaria and his Foundation about Human rights education all over Morocco, maintaining the long tradition of peace and tolerance in this North African Kingdom.

Zakaria El Hamel is Member of Anna Lindh Foundation and Member of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court too.

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More on:

http://www.myafricanmagazine.com/zakaria-el-hamel-wins-the-2017-pan-african-humanitarian-award/

https://www.peacetraining.eu/documentary-human-rights-morocco-launched-to-celebrate-peace-and-interfaith-dialogue-in-morocco/

MOVIMIENTO RIOS VIVOS – Colombia

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Social organization for Defending the territory, the human rights and the environment

RIOS VIVOS is a movement that brings together social organizations from the sub-regions of western, northern and lower Cauca to Antioquia, a department of northwestern Colombia. This initiative was created to deal with the fear generated by so much violence in the region and to spread hope among the people.

They are families of fishermen, muleteers, farmers, cooks, housewives, shopkeepers, women and young people from other sectors of rural life, organized in associations called, in most cases, Association of victims and people affected by megaprojects.

RIOS VIVOS pursues a twofold objective: to preserve the right to inhabit a territory, and defend the territory as living space and civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. They are also seeking to transform Colombia’s mining and energy policy, which has been seen as one of the causes of population displacement in recent decades.

RIOS VIVOS thus has a tradition of fighting against hydroelectric and mining megaprojects that cause human rights violations as well as serious and irreparable damage to the environment. Their actions and resistance, despite constant threats and attacks aimed at annihilating the population, have not only made possible their survival, but also the rebuilding the social fabric and consolidating peace. The fight against Hidroituango, the largest hydroelectric megaproject in Colombia, is considered emblematic because of the seriousness of the consequences it produces.

These eleven years of history have been times of resistance, resilience, and social fabric. RIOS VIVOS is constantly on the lookout for solutions, particularly peace in its region, beyond the harsh realities faced by communities: “At first we thought the idea of ​​protesting in front of the ‘monster’ was crazy that they would kill us on the first attempt or they would make us disappear, or throw us in jail, even some people continue to think and with reason, because all this was true, all this happened to us and continues to happen. First, large and small meetings, almost clandestine meetings, because the army and the police have made every effort from the beginning to avoid our meetings; a lot of coffee and one meeting after another in the cafeterias, in every park of the affected municipalities, we were talking in a low voice what to do, some said that anyway, if we stayed silent, they could also kill us, that doing nothing was no guarantee of being alive, but doing it either, that life on these lands has always been worth very little.”

RIOS VIVOS, like hundreds of organizations, is committed to peace in Colombia. In various ways, they call for peace with social justice, to guarantee human rights and to end foreign or domestic megaprojects that seek only to satisfy the economic interests of large corporations over life and culture of whole populations.

RIOS VIVOS expresses the feelings of many people and entire countries who are victims of the extractive industry around the world. Their voices and actions defy a monster. This process has a long trajectory, where it faces death, enforced disappearance, perpetual killings and environmental damage.

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More on (In Spanish) https://riosvivoscolombia.org/

 

Etienne De Jonghe – Belgium

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Builder of peace, engaged in the formation of international networks for the demilitarization, the disarmament, the reconciliation and the rights of the peoples.

Mr. Etienne De Jonghe grew up in Belgium in a Europe immersed in the uncertainties of the Cold War. After studying political science, international relations at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), and the sciences of peace and conflict at the Polemological Institute of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands, 1968-1970), he directed his professional life towards peace education. For thirty years he was Secretary General of Pax Christi International where he worked to consolidate and develop this movement born in 1945 for Franco-German reconciliation. When he retired in 2008, the movement has a hundred member organizations spread across worldwide.

Endowed with a strong contact capacity and a deep sense of justice, he has patiently woven links with citizens of Central and Eastern Europe who have engaged in civil society to advance respect for human rights. In critical years when Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo appeal to Pax Christi, Etienne helps to organize a continental network of groups and organizations that mobilize for peace and reconciliation. At the call of Archbishop Oscar Romero, El Salvador, and other circles in Colombia, Peru and Brazil, a continental network is taking shape in Latin America, in defense of communities affected by violent conflict and the mining industries.

Since retiring, Etienne has been participating in seminars, symposiums and conferences alongside people eager to create a world free from violence, for a lasting peace. His extensive knowledge of European institutions and East-West relations is thus used to create and organize new forums for dialogue to combat intolerance and the effects of populism. For more than thirty years, he has been interested in the role that major religions can play in promoting the conditions for a just and lasting peace, for example by participating in dialogues between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Also, he has regularly been involved in the CCADD, Christian Approaches to Demilitarization and Disarmament to organise annual gatherings.

Currently, he is active at the European Council of Religious Leaders; he sits on the boards of directors of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) based in Berlin and Brussels, the European Network on Religions and Beliefs (ENORB), and VIRA, a Dutch-Flemish association which organizes conferences on international affairs and brings together a large group of diplomats, journalists and academics in Brussels. Since 2018, in the name of Pax Christi International and with the leaders of Dutch civil society and two Polish faith-based organizations, Etienne has set up a four-year project (2018-2022) which is developing a network with faith-based civil society groups active in Central and Eastern Europe. The aim is to promote pluralistic democracy, dialogue and cooperation, in particular because of the rise of populism and authoritarianism on the European continent.

In short, by his faith, his convictions, his action, and with the constant support of his wife Magda Van Damme, Etienne De Jonghe is a true builder of peace. He is well deserving of this recognition by the Public Peace Prize.

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SOPEVUDECO-DRC-CONGO

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Social Development and Empowering the Most Vulnerable Elderly People Intervention Initiative.

SOPEVUDECO is an officially recognized organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo whose mission is to relieve the suffering of vulnerable groups or people in difficult situations and to promote a fair and equitable society, with a healthy environment where life is good.

The organization is active in the areas of poverty alleviation, human rights and peace promotion, food security, health, education, environment and sustainable development, among others.

Many elderly people in Kadutu live in difficult conditions due to lack of financial means, family support and state intervention. In many cases, these people have no home, no food or medical care. To help them, SOPEVUDECO ASBL has been looking after them since 2013.

The elderly are neglected and victims of many abuses related to their condition, both in their own families and in their communities. In Bukavu, the family situation of the elderly is alarming. They face many challenges including access to medical care, no activity for their empowerment and even, they lack housing.

The care of elderly people remains a headache in Bukavu: diseases, lack of housing and begging. Every Tuesday and Friday old people invade the arteries of the city of Bukavu to beg for money, food, clothing …; in commercial houses as in the streets to passers-by; many of them justify their situation for lack of assistance from their own families accusing them of several grievances until they are expelled from their homes. Grief, shock, violence, abuse and even accusations of witchcraft are all traumas experienced by seniors every day.

This initiative aims to promote the social development of the most vulnerable population of the elderly through food assistance, the provision of kitchen kits and the construction of their homes: an intervention that is important to relieve these neglected people and without assistance.

Third-age people live in loneliness and isolation. SOPEVUDECO makes every effort to socialize this category of people, educate and ensure the survival of orphans and vulnerable children of their families. In return, every effort should be made to support as much as possible SOPEVUDECO.

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