As granted by the Council of Welfare for Children, the month of November is considered as National Children’s Month. However, the Philippines is considered to be one of the countries that lag behind in safeguarding and protecting the rights of children, wherein 31.4% of children in the country live below the poverty incidence line. Additionally, for every 1,000 babies that are born, around 28 babies die even before they turn five years old. With the declaration of the National Children’s Month, we are able to provide an outlet to promote and raise awareness regarding the rights and wellbeing of children throughout the Philippines.
Last week, Kids for Kids launched a Children’s Festival, Yatu, that aimed to educate and inform individuals regarding the value and importance of children, who are considered to be the “frontliners of our future”. Children are viewed as our hope in our call to action and empower individuals belonging to the less privileged communities along with the marginalized sectors throughout society. The online festival raised awareness regarding children’s rights, and hopes to empower others to uphold these rights.
The Children’s Festival aims to recreate and relive the excitement, happiness, and enjoyment that comes from experiencing and being a part of a live festival. The entire team, consisting of students, continues to be hard at work in planning various engaging and interactive activities, talks, as well as performances that would be held on different platforms — Kids for Kids, Kamalayan, and Museo Pambata’s Facebook and Instagram platforms. The festival highlighted different children’s rights every day, revolving around the themes of Character, Community, and Country. Each week concluded with an Information Session featuring a prominent panel of speakers, such as Gary Valenciano, Katrina Razon, Gaita Flores, Gab Mejia, and more to mention — who are known for being impactful in their field of expertise. They discussed the relevance of their childhood and its relation as to how it has molded them to become the person they are today. The entire festival was free for the public to educate themselves on the importance of children’s rights, however voluntary donations garnered from the festival will be going towards certain advocacies; namely, the Mangrove Rehabilitation in Siargao, funding green spaces in Manila, and educational materials for environmental conservation.
We must unite for change together, as in order to begin making a difference, we need to understand our place and what we, and future generations, rightfully deserve. There is a need now more than ever to begin informing and educating children regarding their rights today to enable them in utilizing their voice to bring about change. Through this festival, we hope that children and adults alike realize that it is never too late to make a difference. It may take a village in order to raise a child, but that change begins once you start viewing the future hope in that child. From the numerous rising youth organizations and initiatives over the lockdown, it is clear that the younger generations are a representation of our future hope to modify, rebuild, and reinvent the challenges, struggles we are currently experiencing in our present reality. Children are what we consider to be the next generation of change-makers, and it is vital for us to constantly motivate, empower and encourage them to use their voice, platforms, and to maximize their capabilities and skills, which begins by upholding their 12 fundamental rights.
Special thanks to the event’s sponsors: Kynd Studios, Simula PH, Fili Case, and Retaso, as well as our media partners: InqPOP, wheninmanila.com, astig.PH, and SparkUp, for making this month-long event possible!