A series of Trainings for Khatibs (A person who delivers sermon in a Masjid) were facilitated by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in partnership with Regional Darul Ifta-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as funded by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) organized the Municipal Khatibs all over the provinces of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) including Cotabato City and 63 barangays of North Cotabato to undertake and complete the series of trainings on delivery of Khutba or sermons about the rights of a child which was concluded in Jolo, Sulu last January 28, 2020.

It started in Maguindanao province clustered into dictrict last December 16-17, 2019 for Clusters 1 and 2 participants and December 18-19, 2019 for clusters 3 and 4 held at Em Manor Hotel, Cotabato City, followed by Lanao del Sur with 2 series of training which were held on December 24-25, 2019 at Em Manor Hotel, Cotabato City for 2nd district municipalities and December 28-29, 2019 at Plaza Alemania Hotel, Iligan City for the 1st district municipalities including Marawi City.

For island provinces, the trainings in Tawi-Tawi was held on January 4 to 5, 2020 at Almari Hotel, Bongao; in Basilan Province, held on January 8 to 9, 2020 at Lamitan City Hostel while for Sulu, the 2 series of trainings were conducted on January 24 to 25, 2020 for its 1st district municipalities and January 27 to 28, 2020 for its 2nd district municipalities, all held at Notre Dame Review Center, Jolo, Sulu.

A total of 440 municipal Khatibs were trained and tasked to disseminate the developed 16 child rights sermons in their respective municipalities. Of the total Khatibs, 141 are from Maguindanao, 106 from Lanao Del Sur, 37 from Tawi-Tawi, 48 from Basilan and 72 from Sulu.

Included in the developed 16 Child Rights Sermons are Marriage Requirements / Conditions, Child Rights to Education, Breastfeeding and Caring, Children with Disabilities, Responsible use of  Technology and Social Media, Child Rights to Express her/his views, Hygiene (Annadhafah), Children without Parental Care, Immunization, Menstrual Management, Parents Responsibilities towards Children, Child Sponsorship (Kafala), Child Rights to Play, Non-Violent or Positive Discipline, Children without  Emotional Care and Prevention of Recruitment of Minors. The developments of the said sermons were facilitated by Regional Darul Ifta – BARMM headed by its Executive Director, Mufti Abuhuraira Udasan and Sheikh Talal Sabpa, youth development officer who served also as the Chief Editor of the written Sermons.

Some highlights of these series of trainings are the workshop on the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the Khatibs, the challenges they are confronting every Khutba delivery and the identification of possible solutions to resolve the said challenges. Inputs on the Compatability of Child Rights and Islam and the role of Muslim Religious Leaders in promoting child rights, Characteristics of Khutba and the Art of Khutba Delivery (Arkanul Khutbati wa Khasaisu wa Fannu ilqa el-Khutba) and the practical session on Khutba delivery from the selected Khatibs. Provincial Coordinators of RDI-BARMM served as the Resource Persons in their respective provinces who undertook the Training of Master Trainers in Cotabato City last December 2019.

These trainings is part of the components of the project Promotion of Child Rights and Islam, an 8-month project that aims at increasing awareness, knowledge and commitments among decision-makers, community members, parents and adolescents to promote child rights and counter radical narratives in the Bangsamoro communities.