Investing in our future means investing in our children — there are no two ways about it. That’s why the United Nations has established Universal Children’s Day as a time to promote togetherness around the world, awareness of the problems children face in every corner of the globe, and improve the welfare for all children.
The holiday was first celebrated in 1954, and November 20 was designated at the annual holiday in 1959. It was in this year, on this date, that the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. But Universal Children’s Day shouldn’t be reserved for large organizations. Every individual has an obligation to make the life of a child better, and give them every opportunity they need to succeed. Thanks to the UN’s efforts, this is becoming more apparent than ever before.
How to Observe Universal Children’s Day
1. Find an event
Every year, the UN sponsors events that bring together children and adults to raise awareness. In 2016, some of the world’s most prominent writers gathered to craft extremely short stories that highlight the problems the world’s poorest children face. Many of the UN's subsidiaries also hold their own events, so there will be plenty for you to choose from.
2. Spend some time in the community
You can host your own event meant to help adults spend quality time with the kids from the community. This can be as simple as meeting in a local park, or it could be a more elaborate party organized by the local counsel. Either way, the point is to show the children how important it is to build a bond with the community.
3. Sponsor a child
UNICEF and other organizations have made it easier than ever to donate or even sponsor a child at a fixed price every month. A small donation can go a long way in changing the life of a child. If you’ve ever thought about sponsoring a child, or donating to an international organization, make today the day to do it.
Why Universal Children’s Day is Important
A. Guarantees rights to children
In typical government documents, the rights given to people are generally understood to be for adults. However, thanks to the UN, governments around the world have adopted treaties that guarantee children the right to life, health, education, play, family, protection from violence, discrimination, and suppression.
B. They are the future
Changes take time. And by time, we mean generations. If we want to ensure a stable, safe, sustainable future for our planet, it starts with the children of today. That’s why early education is imperative, and the UN is leading the charge here.
C. Raises awareness
It may be easy to overlook the problems facing children today if they aren’t apparent in your daily life. Universal Children’s Day seeks to spread the knowledge that there are millions of children around the world who don’t have access to education, healthcare, or opportunities. The first step is understanding a problem exists, and then we can do something about it.