Author Agatha Christie once said, “One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.”
It’s something that shouldn’t be left up to luck—it should be every child’s right to enjoy childhood. That’s one of the reasons Children’s Week is held (19–28 October), coinciding with Universal Children’s Day, which is held in Australia on the fourth Wednesday of this month.
But there’s more to Children’s Week than taking part in fun activities to celebrate the joy of being a child.
It’s also a sobering call for us to remember the many millions of children around the world—including in our nation—who don’t have basic rights, as set out in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). These seem so obvious—the right to life, health, education, play and family life, to be protected from violence and discrimination, and to have their views heard. It’s a reminder that children’s futures are shaped by their childhoods.
As parents, Children’s Week is a lovely opportunity to do something special with our kids. Join other families in the events held around the nation in schools, playgroups, libraries, kindergartens and community groups (see the calendar of events at childrensweek.org.au), or hold your own celebration. A picnic in the park, a family games or movie night, cooking a special meal together—making childhood memories doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.
And while you enjoy the smiles on your children’s faces, give a thought to the other aim of Children’s Week, to strive towards ensuring every child has the benefits of a happy, supportive childhood.
It’s something none of us can do alone, but together we can make a difference. The Salvos are one of many community groups reaching out to children—and their families—who need help in overcoming difficult circumstances to provide hope for the future. Find out how at salvationarmy.org.au and salvos.org.au.