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Child Well-being: UNICEF launches handbooks for Muslims, Christians

Child Well-being: UNICEF launches handbooks for Muslims, Christians

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has produced and launched a new handbooks to serve as a guide for both Christians and Muslims on the well-being of Children.

Titled Faith for Life the handbooks which were launched on Tuesday in Abuja was compiled in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

According to UNICEF The handbooks were compiled on faith-based recommendations on child rights and well-being.

UNICEF explained in a statement that the books were meant for Nigerian families and communities on child well-being.

The handbooks leverage on the influence of both the Islam and Christianity faiths in Nigeria. UNICEF stated that the books provides recommendations on how parents and caregivers can promote child survival and development through their behaviours.

The United Nation’s organization further explained that “the Faith for Life handbooks, which have been endorsed by national religious leaders, contain carefully selected verses from the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible that relate to infant and young child feeding, child protection, nutrition, education, disease prevention, hygiene and sanitation”.

UNICEF said that the selected verses provide a spiritual basis for the promotion of key childhood developmental issues and challenges across Nigeria.

“We recognize the important role that religion plays in the lives of many Nigerians, and the important influence that religious leaders have in their communities.

The concept of the “Faith for Life” handbook is to showcase that important role and how religious precepts can have a positive impact on children’s lives,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative of UNICEF.

He added saying: “With their large platforms, faith leaders in Nigeria are often well placed to encourage positive behavioral and attitudinal change in their communities, with significant potential for activating and supporting improvements in child well-being”.

“The handbook provides religious and traditional leaders with accurate and positive messaging on key developmental issues that they can disseminate to their communities through dialogues,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Religious leaders often have a deep and trusted relationship with their communities. They are able to foster honest dialogue, influence thinking, and provide guidance on how to promote and protect the rights and well-being of children in their communities, including by referring to tenets of their religion,” said Mr Hawkins while disclosing that the handbooks have been endorsed by Nigeria’s most prominent religious leaders such as the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar; and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle.

UNICEF further stated that a technical working group has been set up to identify modalities for disseminating the learnings from the handbook in the various zones, with a team comprised of representatives of the Christian and Islamic faiths from the six geopolitical zones and the FCT.

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