By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.
To coincide with Children’s Day, here is a video which notes that a child dies, somewhere in the world, every three seconds.
The causes for this are numerous, and include hunger, malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, or the absence of vaccine protection and medical care.
In addition to drawing attention to children’s survival, it is also important to highlight the need for children to thrive. One of the ways that children can thrive in any environment is through sport. After seeing kids in poor and war-torn countries forgetting about their daily lives by playing football with balls made of trash, like those pictured in the beautiful series of improvised footballs by Jessica Hilltout, Tim Jahnigen dedicated his life to creating an indestructible ball that wouldn’t deflate in the hardest of conditions. Eventually he came up with the One World Futbol, a football made of specialty materials from a company called PopFoam, whose tagline is “Soft Toughness” and whose titular product is made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate). As the company describes it, “PopFoam will improve durability, tear strength, tensile strength, flexibility, color availability, chemical resistance, cold weather resistance, sound protection and abrasion resistance while offering the cushioning comforts and the complement of design ascetics to your products.” This material would make for a perfect football, whereas all the millions of previously donated footballs would deflate within hours of use on the rough terrain.
Education is another important area to focus on during Children’s Day. And here is a very cool story about what happens if you give a thousand tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Spoiler: Within five months, they’ll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Awesome.
- Universal Children’s Day (regionalallianceforhealthyschools.wordpress.com)
- Looking at the world through a child’s eyes (sciencelens.wordpress.com)
- Universal Children’s Day (kevinpedersen1.wordpress.com)
- Protecting the rights of children on Universal Children’s Day (unicef.org.au)
- Universal Children’s Day (modmissy.com)