High-level signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNICEF and religious leaders for the wellbeing of children and women

When: Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, from 9:00 �12:30 Where: Marriot Hotel, Turako Meeting Room, 1st floor


His Holiness Abune Matias – Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Patrarchate Office

Sheik Mohammedamin Jemal, President of Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC)

Aba Hagos Haysh, Ethiopian Catholic Church

Reverend Dr Wakseuym Idosssa, President of Ethiopia Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

Ms Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia

Why: Religious leaders are influential communicators who can influence the hearts and minds of millions of their followers, instrumental in fostering dialogue, setting priorities, be change champions and role models for the wellbeing of children and women.

In the past years, UNICEF has been closely working with leaders of religious institutions in various programme areas including the promotion of key messages in immunization, nutrition, elimination of harmful traditional practices and during emergencies.

The memorandum of understanding which will be signed between UNICEF and religious leaders will help strengthen the collaboration and enhance behavioural and social norm change around selected thematic priorities in Ethiopia. Besides, it entails shifting from project based approach to building strategic and long term partnership for the promotion of the rights and wellbeing of children in key thematic priorities.

The focus areas of collaboration as outlined in the MoU include: maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health, immunization, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), hygiene and sanitation promotion, birth registration, Integrated Early Childhood Development and Education (IECDE), girls education, prevention of gender based violence, harmful traditional practices including Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage.

The memorandum of understanding will be valid as long as it upheld by the agreeing partners and will be revisited and updated as necessary.

Interviews with dignitaries will be possible Lunch will be served

Source: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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