Updated: Jun 11, 2019
Happy International/National Children's Day!
International Children’s Day and the International Day for the Protection of Children are celebrated annually around the world on June 1st. However in the United States, Children’s Day is typically celebrated on the second Sunday in June – a tradition dating back to 1856 when a pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, held a special service focused on children.
While recognized on different days, these days of observance focus on the same thing: to advocate for and champion children’s rights and change the way children are viewed and treated by society. Children’s rights are not unique, special, or differentiated in any way. They are fundamental human rights.
Staff at Pwoje Espwa opened up the conversation about children’s rights with parents of residential and community children this past week, inviting them to campus for an open conversation. Led by our social workers, psychologist, and CFRAPS (a Haitian organization providing psychological counseling on child protection and welfare), the meetings covered various topics on children’s rights and child protection.
This was a unique opportunity for parents and children to ask questions and have an open discussion. Many of the parents were excited to be having a conversation about the topic. Many were not ready to be parents when they had their children. Trainings like this create spaces that either did not exist or were not easily accessible to the parents who have children that reside or attend school at Pwoje Espwa.
Similar meetings were also held with students in varying age groups so that they know their basic rights are as children – as human beings – and can learn to advocate for themselves if they ever find those rights being violated.
A dedicated and passionate staff and partnerships with local organizations like CFRAPS allow us to create spaces for conversation, learning, and growth for children and their families.