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National Children’s Month – November 2023

National Children’s Month is celebrated in November in the Philippines every year. This month-long celebration aims to give Filipino children access to a healthy environment, good education, and healthcare. Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero, once said that the youth is the future of the nation, and investing in children is key for the betterment of the next generation. This holiday also comes from a place of empathy. As a third-world country, most families struggle financially, and it’s the children who suffer the most. This month highlights the ways we can help and support them.

History of National Children’s Month

Before the Philippines started observing National Children’s Month, many countries around the world had already been celebrating ‘Children’s Day.’ It began in June 1857 when Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard conducted a special service for the children. Initially, he first called it ‘Rose Day,’ then ‘Flower Sunday,’ and was finally renamed ‘Children’s Day.’

The first country that turned this celebration into a national holiday was Turkey back in 1920. However, the global adoption of this holiday didn’t happen until 1925 when International Children’s Day was proclaimed in Geneva, Switzerland during the World Conference on Child Welfare. On June 1, 1950, many communist and post-communist countries started adopting the International Children’s Day as well, including a joint resolution between India and Uruguay in 1954.

The Philippines first adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations on November 20, 1989. The National Youth Commission (N.Y.C.), the Council for the Welfare of Children (C.W.C.), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (D.S.W.D.) were tasked to come up with activities, plans, and charitable events to help children in need.

The focus of National Children’s Month is to offer help to those children who suffered from abuse, poverty, natural calamities, and violence. In fact, in 2013 alone, there was a disturbingly high rate of children who suffered from sexual abuse and exploitation.

By 2015, late Philippine President Benigno Aquino III made November the official National Children’s Month in the Philippines under the Republic Act No. 10661.

National Children’s Month timeline

The First Children’s Day

The origin of National Children’s Month starts with Children’s Day as established by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard.

Children’s Day Goes Global

Due to the World Conference on Child Convention in Geneva, countries all over the world are starting to adopt Children’s Day as a national holiday.

Children’s Month in the Philippines

The Philippines adopts the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations.

The Official Declaration for National Children’s Month

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III officially declares November as National Children’s Month.

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