Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Each year on November 20th we celebrate National Child Day to commemorate the United Nations’ adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Despite much progress, the majority of the world’s children live in chronic stress, experience frequent trauma, and cannot access quality education, health care, and pathways to wealth accumulation. A harsh and upsetting reality.
And yet, there is much to inspire hope! In celebration of this International Child Day, I’m excited to share that a group of Calgary students are launching a campaign to support Bolivian students by raising funds for a Bolivia Kids Scholarship Fund! These students have had a challenging year in Calgary with school closures, quarantine disruptions, online education, and social distancing at school. The pandemic has made real the disparities in access to education and has shown them first-hand the grit that’s required to stay on course with so many disruptions.
With this shared experience, they’ve been deeply inspired by Bolivian students who had their entire school year cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite having no options for formal education - in-person or online - they have remained steadfast in their commitment to learning. Students at Project Sariry, a local initiative funded by Bolivia Kids, have met regularly with Sariry instructors outside of their homes, working diligently to stay on track with their educational aspirations. One Bolivian student, in particular, has captured the interest of students in Calgary. Erika has independently completed the grade 12 curriculum, motivated by her dream to pursue a university education!
I invite you to read more about this uplifting story and their campaign here. Also - and in time for Christmas - the students are selling friendship bracelets, Christmas cards, note cards, and baked goods through our online store as part of this initiative.
The pandemic has provided hardships for adolescents around the world. Today, I’m celebrating their combined idealism and resilience - kids partnering together can make great things happen! This International Child’s Day, let’s commit to embracing young people’s capacities – our world is in good hands.