The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, has initiated a month-long campaign of prayers and service for children in a move to combat violence against children. The Church aims to actively support and encourage actions among Christians and the wider community to work towards ending violence against children.
As a symbolic beginning to the November campaign, Archbishop Kaziimba conducted the baptism of 22 children at the Sanyu Babies’ Home in Mengo, Kampala. This event marks the Church’s dedication to putting faith into action by becoming advocates for children’s safety.
Archbishop Kaziimba emphasized the Church’s potential to challenge harmful social norms and practices that perpetuate violence against children. He urged congregations and communities to speak out against all forms of violence against children and called for the integration of violence prevention education into various church programs and educational institutions.
The Sanyu Babies’ Home (SBH), a Christian-based charitable institution under the Namirembe Diocese, plays a crucial role in caring for up to 50 babies and toddlers at any given time. The institution’s primary mission is to provide a loving home for children who lack parental care and to reintegrate them into the community through family reunification, fostering, or adoption.
The Church’s commitment to children’s well-being is not a recent endeavor. In April 2021, the Provincial assembly standing committee resolved to designate a month for children annually, focusing on their spiritual nurture, care, and protection. This year, November was chosen as the commemorative month, with the theme “A united society free from child violence.”
During the commemoration event at SBH, Rev. Richard Rukundo, the Youth and Students Coordinator for COU, highlighted the various practices and crimes that harm children, including defilement, child marriage, child sacrifice, child labor, neglect, trafficking, and gender-based violence. He stressed the importance of Church leaders and members actively participating in prayer, support, care, and advocacy to eliminate all forms of violence against children in Uganda.
Rev. Rukundo called for increased public intolerance towards injustices negatively affecting children and emphasized the need for partnerships with like-minded organizations to advance child safeguarding initiatives. He also expressed the Church’s commitment to increasing media engagement and amplifying the voices of Church leaders and members to advocate for the end of violence against children in Uganda.
As part of the Children’s Month activities, the Church of Uganda will organize workshops for various church and organization leaders, focusing on parenting, family care, child protection, and safeguarding. Additionally, the Church will designate a special Prayer Sunday for Children and enhance its Schools Ministry to promote values, character development, and life skills as part of the campaign against child violence.