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  • Writer's pictureYeji Seo

The Secrets of A Child: Make A Difference on Universal Children’s Day

Close your eyes for a second and picture a child. What do you see? Is it a smiling, cute, chubby-cheeked child with eyes that tell a story of hope and belief in magic? Or, is it a picture of a child smeared with chocolate and paint all over their body, not being able to run on low volumes? If it is the latter image, I sadly relate to you. As cute as they may be, children can leave us with impressions that bring less than pleasant thoughts to mind, especially if we tend to enjoy life with a side of peace. But what is it that we resent about the messy, loud, high maintenance image? After all, children are simply being themselves, as individuals learning about the world and adapting to the new surroundings. Loudness can represent their frustration for their voices not being heard and acknowledged – adults know to rephrase their sentences to make themselves understood, but children may experience greater difficulty doing so. The messiness can be seen as creativity – children are often full of different thoughts, ideas, and imaginations that make them unable to be more organized due to the overflowing ideas.

The reason why we must make the effort to see chidrens’ behaviour in a different light is because in most cases, children are going through a natural phase in life that we need to respect and nurture as adults. This is why Universal Children’s Day was established.

The United Nations defines Universal Children’s Day as a day that promotes internal togetherness, raises awareness among children worldwide, and improves children’s welfare. Simply put, this day is celebrated in recognition of children for who they are and in raising awareness of the violence against children occurring throughout the world. Some violences experienced by children may include abuse, discrimination, and exploitation. Right at this moment, 153 million children, aged 5 to 14, are forced into child labour, many of which are not given the most essential necessities of life, including housing, food, education, and hygiene products, in addition to not being paid properly for the work they are forced to do.

Why is it important to take part in celebrating this day, you ask? Well, children are important human beings who have the right to life, health, education, happiness, and protection from abuse, discrimination, and forced labour. They are also the future – the way children learn, grow, and play will determine our future. If we want a safe and sustainable planet to live in, don’t you think we need to start by investing in the empowerment of children?

To celebrate this day and raise awareness of child-maltreatment across the world, there are some things you can do to help.

  1. One, you can host your own event within your community to gather children to celebrate together and experience the warmth of the community. By doing so, children will understand the importance of building relationships and of being themselves.

  2. Two, you can consider sponsoring a child. You can start by looking at some organizations including UNICEF and Compassion that work to create a long-term life-changing influence on the lives of children across the world through providing education, food, and clothes.

  3. Three, you can donate to Toronto Tooth, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income children and youth receive the basic oral health care products, such as toothbrushes and toothpastes. No matter how small or big your donation, you will be helping a child and a youth reclaim their human right to health and basic hygiene necessities.

There are many more options that we can take to address child welfare. However, we can start taking small steps through donating to local or international organizations. On November 20th, consider taking that first step by donating to Toronto Tooth.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss


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