Multireligious Collaboration for the Common Good

19 Nov 2012

This five-year programme helps equip, engage and mobilise faith leaders, congregations, faith-based institutions, interreligious councils and individuals.

In 2010, 7.6 million children died from preventable causes before reaching their fifth birthday. Despite billions of dollars invested in international aid, medications, vaccines and other aid, services often aren’t reaching the people who need them the most.

While the building of good health-care systems is essential to advancing the survival and well-being of under-five children, families can adopt life-saving household practices that deliver a powerful positive impact on the same goal. Importantly, these life-saving household practices can be implemented now, even before fully adequate health-care systems are in place.

The shift in household practices needed for the survival and well-being of under-five children must involve large numbers of people, some of whom are far from urban centres of communication. Religious communities have the assets – social, spiritual and moral – to reach out to these people and bring about the needed change.

The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), in strategic partnership with Religions for Peace (RfP) and UNICEF, is proposing an innovative initiative – the Multireligious Collaboration for the Common Good (MCC) programme – to empower faith communities to promote the adoption of life-saving household practices amongst the families and societies in their region.

This five-year programme will equip, engage and mobilize faith leaders, congregations, faith-based institutions, interreligious councils and individual believers across diverse faiths to improve the survival and well-being of millions of under-five children in several countries. This multireligious initiative expresses very well KAICIID’s mission to “facilitate interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding, enhance cooperation and respect for diversity, justice and peace.”

Working across religious and cultural boundaries and including the multilateral cooperation of governments and civil society, the MCC programme will offer an effective platform for multireligious actions that promote life-saving household practices to achieve the following objectives:

  • Communities from different religions and cultures will come together through interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding, working in cooperation with one another;
  • Communities and families living in the lowest income quintile in several countries will be educated and supported to adopt ten life-saving household practices;
  • Faith communities (in partnership with other religious and secular partners) will implement simple, low-cost but effective promotional and service delivery activities to improve the health and survival of children living in the lowest income quintile;
  • Faith communities will develop and sustain effective alliances and partnerships (at global, country and local levels) to promote life-saving household practices.

Informed by the MCC programme’s successes, it is expected that faith communities in additional settings and countries, either alone or preferably in association with others, will scale up programme activities and/or address other priority child health and protection issues at the global, country, regional and local levels.