Children's Day is an annual celebration of children all over the world, though the date of commemoration differs by nation. International Children's Day was initially proclaimed in Geneva at the World Conference on Child Welfare in 1925. Ever since, it has been held on June 1 in a lot of nations, while Nigeria celebrates hers on May 27.
Children's Day originated in Chelsea, Massachusetts on the second Sunday of June in 1857 by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard. Being the pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Reverend Dr. Charles held a special service for children. It was initially named Rose Day, though it was later named Flower Sunday, and then named Children's Day. See more on the history of the celebration here.
In Nigeria, Children's Day was recognized as a holiday in 1964. There are numerous events and activities used to mark the celebration. Children participate in military parades and engage in competitions to win prizes. Amusement parks and other recreational establishments are frequented on this day as families celebrate their young ones. Individuals and organizations also take the opportunity to help the less fortunate. Orphanages and other childcare facilities receive visitors and gifts for their young wards. There is also a renewed effort towards reminding the government and non-governmental agencies to include child protection and provision measures in the policy-making process.
Children’s Day is an opportunity to remind the world to pay attention to the abuse children face, and where we come in to heal those wounds.
This abuse comes in several forms in different places. Lack of access to basic education, kidnapping, and also physical & mental abuse are some of the issues affecting children globally. We have a responsibility as a society to make sure that the young ones have the tools to flourish.
Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of the novel corona-virus earlier this year, celebrations would be subdued. Safety and precautionary measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus stand sturdily against large gatherings, and meetings. Under far more normal circumstances schools are given a holiday, and children take part in marches, social and other cultural activities. The goal is to showcase the pride of children and the necessity for us to create an atmosphere of love for them to thrive.
While observing all standard prevention measures against the pandemic, we are celebrating all children today. Take time out to listen to them, they have some interesting ideas! Don’t forget to reach out to the less privileged as well.
Happy Children’s Day.