Hundreds of believers from different congregations dedicated this Sunday, one day after the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, to pray for peace and the end of all forms of violence in Mozambique and around the world.
The prayers were led by church leaders and members of a platform called Mecanismo de Salvaguarda (Safeguarding Mechanism) which promotes a culture of safety and reporting of incidents of violence within the church and around the community of believers.
“We are thankful for your prayers to end violence. Studies indicate that one in every seven women experience violence and I believe that some of these women are part of our congregation, so the mechanism was created to ensure that women and children do not have to deal with this burden alone, as this mechanism is here for you,” said Diolene Gimo, Campaign and Faith Leaders Engagement Manager at World Vision in Mozambique.
The wave of prayers is a contribution by church leaders to end the increasingly worrying levels of violence in Mozambique and the world and efforts to leverage their solid base of followers, influence, and capacity to promote behaviour change in their community and religious circles.
“If any of you here is aware that someone close is going through or suffered any form of violence, please reach out to these members here, they will support you, plus, if you wish to use a different format we have a complaint box where you can report the incident,” said Reverend Alda Carlos Nhabinde to believers.
Reverend Alda said that to since the safeguarding mechanisms were launched reports of incidents to police authorities from members of the congregation have been made, which means the message is getting across.
“What we are trying to achieve with this is to ensure that people do not suffer from violence and remain silent, they have to report. Should you decide to go anonymous there is no problem, the mechanism is also designed for that purpose,” added the Reverend.
The safeguarding mechanism is a partnership among the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, World Vision Mozambique and the Mozambique Christian Council, a network of different Christian congregations. The platform is also promoting safe and abuse-free environments in religious contexts and providing advice on procedures in the event of abuse, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and exploitation involving children and/or adults, as well as cases of child marriages.