What is Universal Children’s Day?
In 1954, Universal Children’s Day was established by UNICEF to celebrate children globally, promote child welfare, and encourage international togetherness. Universal Children’s Day also serves to bring awareness to children around the globe that have succumbed to violence in forms of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.
UNICEF works to promote child welfare by focusing on children’s exposure to conflict, violence, abuse, human trafficking, child prostitution, child pornography, and lack of access to drinking water or stable safe homes. The United Nations, through the UNICEF program, sets new goals and targets to better the health and wellness of children worldwide, and these ideas trickle down to the local level to places like Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.
Local Action in Washtenaw County
In order to achieve the goals the United Nations (and even the United States) has set, efforts on the community level must take place. In fact, UMHS Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) has taken an active role in addressing health needs of adolescents in the Washtenaw County area. RAHS provides physical and mental health care services for adolescents, regardless of insurance status. RAHS further enables students to receive care by being in the schools they attend. Care management services, like clothing, housing, and financial assistance, as well as referrals for family planning services, vision care, and dental care are also included in the work RAHS does to keep Washtenaw County youth healthy and in school.
How can you help?
Here are some ways you can contribute to efforts to promote adolescent health and wellness and celebrate Universal Children’s Day with your family this year:
- Donate on the local level. Find an organization serving adolescents with evidence-based outcomes of the positive effects of their services and donate your time or money.
- Send an eCard. On the UNICEF website, cards with activities and games in promoting kindness and understanding to children can be sent to your friends and family.
- Sponsor a child from an undeveloped or under-developed country.
- Attend a UNICEF meeting. Find one in your area here.
- Teach your children about life in other countries. Teach your kids that not all children in world have the same freedoms as they do here in America. Talk with them about what they can do to help out.
- Celebrate your own kids. Take the time to hear the ideas your children have on anything and everything. It’s their imaginations that will build our future!
- Youth can get involved by participating in Voices of Youth.
Children think not of what is past, nor what is to come, but enjoy the present time, which few of us do. — Jean de La Bruyère