When you are faced with an individual child in front of you, their vulnerability is obvious, and you do not turn away. Each child has a right to be listened to, nurtured and protected. The responsibility for their care, protection and respect lies most immediately with their parents and other primary caregivers, but wider society also has responsibilities to each individual child to provide healthcare; opportunities to education and play, protection from discrimination, violence and abuse etc. (British Association for Child and Adolescent Public Health)
Call to Prayer
O Lord, children are a gift to humanity, grant each one the ability to see in every child your image, by so doing, we will work towards the care and protection of children rather than abusing them and subjecting them to harm. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Worldwide, 151 million children are involved in child labor. Of these, 72.5 million are involved in the worst forms of child labor, including mining, construction, scavenging, domestic and factory work, and agriculture. Hazardous conditions endanger children’s health, safety, and moral development. (World vision.org )
- “Tarikul Islam wishes he could go to school like the other kids in his community in Bangladish, but today the 14-year old has been working for five years at an auto shop and forgotten everything he has learned in school. He works for about 12 to 14 hours and makes about $25 a month to help support his family…. He hopes to learn how to read and write and do basic math so he can one day have his own auto shop. If he can learn those things and get about three to four more years of training, he could make about $437 a month, and that is his goal.(© World vision,2017)
- What is our role as SSND Women Religious in enhancing a difference in our way we care and respect children in our neighborhood and the various ministries where we serve, lead and/or sponsor?
- What have I (we) been doing in advocating and protecting the dignity of children?
- Reflect with “A Litany on Behalf of Children”. (adapted version)
O God, The Father God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit Bless them.
O Holy Mother of God and St. Joseph, Nurture them and protect them.
For all children conceived this day, born this day, baptized this day, and confirmed this day, we thank thee and ask thy blessing.
For all children entering school, we thank thee and ask thy blessing.
For all children in a united and loving family, we thank thee and ask thy blessing.
For all children who persevere in a worthwhile project, we thank thee and ask thy blessing.
For all organization and groups organized to protect life, we thank thee and ask thy blessing.
From the holocaust of abortion, protect them.
From the danger of extermination faced by handicapped babies, protect them.
From afflictions of mind and body, protect them.
From physical and sexual abuse, protect them.
From the clutches of child pornographers, protect them.
From family strive, violence, and divorce, protect them.
From civil unrest or war, protect them.
From feeling of low esteem and peer pressure, protect them.
From extraordinary peer pressure, protect them.
From bodily abuse by alcohol or narcotics, protect them.
From worry of acceptance and fear of failure, protect them.
From the horrors faced by street children, protect them.
From sexual licentiousness, protect them.
From Satan and his human helpers, who attempt to cajole, detract diminish, or destroy our children, protect them. (Adapted from Faithful Catholics)
- Advocating for children’s well-being through educating parents and teachers.
- Speaking out whenever we witness any form of maltreatment of a child/children living around us.
- Respecting and treating the children in the Pre-schools/primary where we are heading or teaching with love and patient.
- Praying for all children subjected to all forms of slavery in our world.
Dear Lord, your Word is filled with accounts of miraculous protection. “We claim that power for vulnerable children. Make your little ones invisible to people who seek to exploit them. Whisper in the ears of the children to run and hide until the danger passes.” (Wounded Women Project)
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Amen (Psalm 82:3-4 NIV)
Prepared by Sarah Tanjo SSND, AF, Sierra Leone, for the International Shalom Office, Rome, Italy.
Graphic from the Directional Statement, 24th General Chapter. Design: Congregational Communication Office