Sign the petition here: www.aworldatschool.org/upforschool
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), committed evangelical support for the Global Faiths Coalition for Education's "#UpForSchool" petition that was launched yesterday in New York. The petition focuses on the 58 million children that are currently out of school due to conflict, child labor, child marriage and other reasons.
Following is Dr. Tunnicliffe's speech:
As the Global Faiths Coalition, it is important for us to remember that due to their moral influence, our religious leaders can influence thinking, foster dialogue and set priorities for members of their communities.
For instance, 74 per cent of people in Africa identify religious leaders as the group they trust most. As highlighted in UNICEF’s report, Partnering with Religious Communities for Children*, we recognize the unique role of faith leaders from shaping social values and promoting responsible behaviors that respect the dignity and sanctity of all life to being skilled and influential communicators who can reach the hearts and minds of millions of people in ways that humanitarian actors cannot.
Religious leaders also have better access to the family and personal spheres than most outside actors because they serve as an important conduit of communication for social change and transformation.
As Christians, we see human beings as created in the image and likeness of God and we look to the example of Jesus to live our lives.
Care of children was central to the works of Jesus (Luke 18:16), and he taught that those who perform acts of love are recognized as if they had directly served God: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35–40).
From these passages, we see that Christians are called to act. It is our moral obligation to end child marriage, end child labor, and get 58 million children into school and learning.
The WEA was one of the first organizations to join the Global Faiths Coalition because of our belief in caring for children all around the world regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion, social status or gender.
We are proud to stand by many of your faith based organizations in promoting the right to education for all children.
There are 58 million children in the world today who are out of school due to conflict, child labor, child marriage and more. These are 58 million too many.
With a constituency of 129 national Evangelical Alliances in 7 regions representing some 650 million evangelicals, the WEA is committed to mobilizing its networks to help us reach zero. Zero children out of school.
The WEA has committed to the #UpForSchool petition, and we will work with our Youth Commission to disseminate the petition.
We will also host a Google Hangout training for faith leaders, to which you are all invited, with A World At School and the Global Faiths Coalition.
We are also looking forward to participating with some of you on the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on November 20. Let’s continue to work together to get children in school and learning before December 2015. WEA is #UpForSchool!