In 1954, the UN General Assembly first established World Children’s Day in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day. November 20th was chosen because it was on November 20th that the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). This year is the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
World Children’s Day is a day of fraternity and understanding among children all over the world. It is also a day to devote activity to promoting the welfare of the children of the world. According to the UN:
International days are occasions to educate the general public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.
Each international day offers many actors the opportunity to organize activities related to the theme of the day. Organizations and offices of the United Nations system, and most importantly, governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, schools, universities and, more generally, citizens, make an international day a springboard for awareness-raising actions.
INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES
Millions of the world’s children live in extreme poverty and with constant hunger. Many are at risk for major diseases, and lack access to public education, especially if they are girls. For example, 31 million girls worldwide miss out on primary education because they lack transportation to get to school or live in areas so remote that no school is nearby or no full-time teaches available.
Floating solar-powered schools are being used in Bangladesh to ensure uninterrupted learning for children whose communities have been affected by floods and rising sea water. Some children in school in Uganda have access to a solar-powered Digital Drum, a ruggedly built computer loaded with dynamic multimedia content and housed in a kiosk built into an oil drum. And, in South Africa, the TechnoGirls partnership among UNICEF, the government and the business, connects thousands of adolescent girls with mentors from the tech sector to boost their skills and job readiness in non-traditional jobs.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Consider the welfare of your children and the children in your community. Consider also the impact of your actions on the world’s children. What can you do to help those less fortunate than yourself? What can you do to enhance the well-being of your own children? Here are some ideas. Here are some of the ways you can get involved in Universal Children’s Day:
- Take part in the World’s Largest Lesson by using the School Activities Pack and other UNICEF activities.
- Sign the Global Petition.
- Contribute to or volunteer for a Food Bank
- Have regular conversations with your children about hunger.
- Teach your children about life in other countries and about how our actions can impact those far away.
- Model healthy and ethical eating for your children. 40% of the world’s children go to bed hungry every night.
- Be kind and loving to your children.
- Practice gratitude.
- Appreciate your privilege if you have it, and please ask for help if you don’t.
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Home and A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter with free tips on parenting, activism, and healthy living.