Caring for children in need is an ancient and universal problem and is a central focus for virtually all religious traditions. The challenges of supporting vulnerable children, however, are especially complex and vary from country to country, and often even within a country or community. Religious actors often play major roles both in caring for these children, with various approaches to the contemporary challenges of protecting and caring for the society’s most vulnerable children. Kenya, Senegal, and Cambodia have each faced a crisis that has accentuated challenges of child vulnerability—and in each context, some approaches to vulnerable children are contested. This case study focuses on several situations in Kenya, Senegal, and Cambodia where religious attitudes and actors are directly involved in specific challenges facing children, notably the roles that religious beliefs and religious communities play in appreciating the challenges of caring and acting to care for vulnerable children.
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