Monday, November 17, 2008

How to Celebrate Universal Children’s Day

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, Universal Children’s Day is to be observed as a day of understanding and promoting the health, welfare, and well-being of all children across the globe. November 20th marks the anniversary of the day on which the General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of a Child, and the Convention on the Rights of a Child. Many countries choose to celebrate Universal Children’s Day on November 20th.

According to Wikipedia, the United States is one of only two countries that has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child. There are apparently several contradictions between the laws of the United States and the convention. (More information can be found here.) The United States does make attempts to recognize a day called National Child’s Day. Each year it is proclaimed by the President on varying dates. Nevertheless, several independent organizations and companies in the United States choose to recognize Universal Children’s Day on November 20th.

Regardless of National Holiday status, or conflicting laws and regulations, each of us can choose to participate in events to commemorate this special day, and our children of the world. There are many things you and I can do to independently celebrate Universal Children’s Day, or join up with the many organizations who choose to honor children of the world on November 20th.

Most importantly, use this day to reflect on the fact that our children are important members of society. It goes without saying that they will one day grow up to be our leaders, co-workers, friends and neighbors. Use this day to celebrate your own children, the children in your community, and others by paying special attention, listening, giving a special treat, or simply recognizing the worth of a child.

On a broader scale, there are also many opportunities for you to recognize Universal Children’s Day. The Ronald McDonald House accepts donations at McDonald’s restaurants, as well as at their website, Ronald McDonald House Charities. A very small donation at gives mosquito nets to African refugees. Additionally, the UNICEF website is packed with information regarding children who need our help.

If money is not what you have to give, there are many other things you can do to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. A free e-card can be sent from 123 Greetings. There are activities and Worldwide games that can be played to teach children how their peers in other countries live each day. These ideas can be found on the UNICEF website by clicking here.

As you can see, Universal Children’s Day holds an important concept. Children are a source of life, creativity, humor, love, and light to the world. Honor them this year by contributing money, time, attention, or patience. Even the smallest effort can offer large rewards for a child.

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