Today is November the 20th! Otherwise known, as we’re very pleased to say, as Universal Children’s Day! Since December 14, 1954, when the UN recommended that all countries save today as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children, November 20 has been an important day for thinking and talking about the issues children face around the world and what we as a global community can do to address them. It’s also the same day on which, in 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and, in 1989, the Convention of the Rights of the Child were both formally announced, making today a very important day in history for honoring and working towards better health and happiness for children everywhere. This day is a favourite of ours at DEPDC, so to do our part we thought we would talk about some child rights issues we’re familiar with and how we are working to reduce and one day get rid of them.
Children have lots of rights under international law, including the right to security, health, education and play. Unfortunately, for kids who come from poor areas without a lot of economic development, these particular rights are not always available. In Mae Sai, Chiang Khong and Mae Chan, many of our beloved sons and daughters come from situations just like that, where these four rights are not easily maintained, so we do our best to make sure that our children have all the security, health, education and playtime that they deserve.
At our Half Day School in Mae Sai, we provide education in languages, math, science and humanities, as well as vocational training, lunch and loads of playtime, and will offer shelter to anyone who needs any security we can give. In Chiang Khong, our daughters live on site, attend formal school nearby, participate in vocational training and workshops, and enjoy spending time laughing and having fun with each other and the directors and volunteers at the site – their DEPDC family. And in Mae Chan, our young children enjoy living at the Swimming Home where they enjoy the many benefits an Olympic sized swimming pool has to offer, get to go to the nearby government school, get to learn vocational skills that will help them be independent in the future, like agriculture, and love to spend time having fun with each other and the people working to improve their lives.
We get the greatest happiness from seeing our children grow, learn, play and enjoy all the many areas of life that the world has to offer. It’s incredibly rewarding work, but it isn’t always easy to do all of the things for the kids that we’d like to do. And while we are extremely grateful to our many generous friends and donors who have enabled us to achieve the many accomplishments we are now so proud of, every additional bit of help that we receive lets us continue, improve and expand our work on behalf of children and their rights, so we are always looking for any support we can get.
That’s where our friends around the world come in! We know it may not be easy to donate to causes, but every time a person digs that bit deeper into their own kindness and gives however little they can, a child is fed, clothed, educated, given a place to stay and given a chance to play and be happy, like all kids deserve. So we would like to put out the call on this, one of our favourite days. Please, to anyone who can spread our message, do spread our message. To anyone who can donate, do donate. And to anyone who can volunteer, do volunteer, because there is so much to be done and so much enjoyment to be had from the work we do, and we want to share it with as many people as we can. Thank you for reading, and happy Universal Children’s Day!