Established in 1954, World Children’s Day places focus on the Convention of the Rights of the Child which, amongst other things, sought to improve the living conditions of children, in particular for those in developing countries.
In 2020, the resultant negative consequences of COVID-19 has thrust the rights of children across the world under the spotlight. The glaring disparities of children in poor, rural communities in terms of education, sanitation and food security calls for an URGENT response. Despite this widely ratified human rights treaty, tens of thousands of children are still suffering and do not have access to basic rights.
In particular, the pandemic has created major obstacles for the safe return of children to educational facilities, with nearly 90% of the world’s student population being impacted. Sadly, the return to schooling in some countries has been marred by lower than expected numbers and many have not returned at all. In poorer, more rural areas, children do not have access to digital learning which places them at a further disadvantage. All of this threatens to reverse the progress made in education in recent years, and will be felt for years to come. World Children’s Day calls on us to reimagine the future, invest in education and provide every child with access to learning.
At JAM, our school feeding programmes, which also contributed to improved educational outcomes, have sadly been halted in the majority of our operating countries due to COVI-19 restrictions. To counter this, our teams have provided Take-Home rations while continuing the upkeep of school nutrition gardens – all aimed at providing nutritional support to children and their families. Wherever possible, we have also ensured that clean water sources are available for children and their families, to protect them from diseases. Vital malnutrition support, both in terms of monitoring and treatment, as well as vaccination campaigns have provided young children with access to basic healthcare services.
In order to provide the children of today with a better tomorrow, we must commit to not only improving their standard of living, but ensuring sustainable solutions that will equip them to actually achieve a brighter future.
We stand united with the global community and re-commit ourselves to this.
Six-Point plan, to protect our children:
1. Ensure all children learn, including by closing the digital divide.
2. Guarantee access to health and nutrition services and make vaccines affordable and available to every child.
3. Support and protect the mental health of children and young people and bring an end to abuse, gender-based violence, and neglect in childhood.
4. Increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change.
5. Reverse the rise in child poverty and ensure an inclusive recovery for all.
6. Redouble efforts to protect and support children and their families living through conflict, disaster and displacement.
Join us this World Children’s Day, and make the world a better place for each and every child we can reach.
Global CEO and Co-founder