Global Development and Faith-Inspired Organizations in Latin America: Meeting Report
January 30, 2009
On January 30-31, 2009, Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) hosted a consultation in Antigua, Guatemala on the role of faith-inspired organizations in responding to development challenges in Latin America. The meeting brought together practitioners, religious leaders from a range of faith traditions, and academics to review major issues facing the region. The group explored issues including the role of fast-growing Protestant churches in service delivery, major challenges facing children and youth in the region, and the need for an ongoing forum for faith-inspired organizations working on development to collaborate and share ideas. The discussion about children's issues revealed a disturbing portrait in which the region's children face a range of problems from sexual abuse to gang violence. There was general agreement that issues of family instability were major causes of many of these problems. The consultation was the fourth in a series of geographically-focused explorations undertaken by the Berkley Center, with support from the Henry R. Luce Foundation, whose objective is both to increase knowledge about institutions and their work and to identify and explore emerging policy issues.