The Children…Our Future

Have you seen today’s Google doodle? It celebrates the Universal Day of the Child.

The United Nations established Universal Children’s Day in 1954 with the aim of improving the welfare of children and November 20 marks the date that the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the UN in 1959.

Do you remember being a child? Have any of your dreams as a child come true or maybe luckily not come true?

I wanted to be a priest at one time – not going to happen anytime soon in the Catholic Church…but that’s a post for another time. I decided at 9 or 10 that I wasn’t getting married nor having kids …hmmm…

I know I wanted to travel and though the list is constantly growing I’ve been to Petra (with my husband and kids) and stood in front of the Cristo Redentor statue (with my then boyfriend, now husband).

And what about your kids? Mine are enjoying a life so different from my Grandfather’s – a labourer who despite being derided saw the benefit in educating his 4 girl children. Granpa passed on the joy of reading to my Mum who entrusted it to me and I’ve been able to bestow it on my kids. Best feedback from teachers is/was that my kids love to read and have a wide vocabulary.

But what about the other kids? The kids being sexualized early or being bullied or are stressed by the weight of parental expectations? And the kids dropping through the cracks as austerity measures hit harder and deeper? And what about refugee kids?

Last week, I was privileged, heartened and proud to hear the President of Ghana speak about his work with HH Shiekha Moza, Mother of the Emir of Qatar as an advocate of the UN Sustainability Goals.

Evidently, there is much cohesion between these goals and the rights of the child. After all children are our future, as George Benson and Whitney Houston reminded us in the ‘Greatest Love of All’.

As many of us figure out what to get our kids for Christmas or their birthdays, let’s reflect on these rights of the child, such as the right to:

  • be alive
  • a good quality education
  • play and rest
  • safe water and nutritious food

As we ensure these rights for our kids and some may be more challenging than others (as one of their rights is ‘to give their opinion, and for adults to listen and take these opinions seriously’ – I think my boys are doing too well on this), let’s see what we can do to help those children not as fortunate as ours.

Most of us will not be able to do it on a world stage but simply looking out for the neighbours’ kids or donating time or money to a local or international charity is a right step.

Love the photo?

How are you celebrating the Universal Day of the Child?