World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches across the globe are participating in a campaign to end violence in schools, an effort that is part of a larger partnership, called “Churches’ Commitments to Children,” between the WCC and UNICEF.
The #ENDviolence campaign resulted from a September 2018 report, “An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools,” showing that half of the world’s teenagers experience peer violence in and around school.
UNICEF also launched an online poll aimed at 13 to 24-year-olds that gave young people the option to share their views online. Those views helped shape an #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto, completed in December 2018, which will be delivered to education ministers and other decision-makers at critical milestones throughout 2019.
WCC member churches in Mozambique, Germany, Jamaica, South India, Philippines, Nigeria, Uruguay, South Africa, Chile, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo participated in the online poll as well as in workshops with youth that helped contribute their reflections to the manifesto.
One million young people responded to the global poll, and 69% of them said that they had been afraid of violence in or around their school. In the responses, 24,000 youth provided comments emphasizing the need to take students’ concerns seriously and recommending ways to make schools safer.
Church-run schools make up a large percentage of educational institutions worldwide. The WCC also held a workshop, “Ending Violence in and Through Schools,” on 21 November 2018 in Geneva as part of a World Children’s Day celebration. [WCC News]