Public Holiday – Children’s Day
Children’s Day is celebrated on 24 July. The two main themes of the holiday are “Stop violence against children” and “Give a child the chance to express their opinion today”. After the march there are speeches and activities organized by schools, including a dance. Then, after midday, children return home to spend time with their parents for the rest of the day. Children’s Day is a public holiday, set up following a recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. A group of people in the United Nations monitor and protect children’s rights. A committee, with both adult and child members, organizes activities. In the past, a committee of adults has chosen the theme – but in the future children may help choose it
Children’s Day originally took place only in the capital of Vanuatu, but it has now been extended to all 6 provinces. Schools, churches, local governments of the provinces and other local organizations all organize activities. Save the Children supports one Children’s Day activity in each province, selecting it from the many requests they receive for support. In 2008, one of the activities supported by Save the Children was a sports day between many different schools.
Parents and caretakers have been supportive of Children’s Day activities. Many parents come to activities with children. For example, in one province, children and parents from 5 different schools came together for a shared lunch. Some parents give their children presents for Children’s Day – however, Save the Children try to spread the message that it doesn’t matter if a parent can’t afford to buy their child a present, as the real aim of Children’s Day is for parents and children to spend the day together, and work together to reconcile their problems.
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