Every November 20, United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day inspires individuals to be advocates for children’s rights worldwide. Founded in 1954, the United Nations aimed to promote “international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare.” Though there are many ways to celebrate this Universal Children’s Day, we’ve highlighted a few organizations to get involved with, helping provide children with proper care.
In the U.S., one in four children grows up not knowing how to read. What’s more, two thirds of children who are illiterate by the end of the fourth grade end up in jail or on welfare. Teaching children to read can empower them in more ways than you can imagine. Founded in 1989, Reach Out and Read serves children living in poverty, incorporates books into pediatric care and supplies children with the tools they need to develop reading skills. Today the group distributes 6.9 million books a year and has over 5,800 program sites.
Approximately one in five children in the U.S. deals with hunger at some point during the year. After Share Our Strength launched No Kid Hungry in 2010, the program has provided schools and communities with school breakfast, summer meals, after school meals, nutritional education and research to tackle childhood hunger across the country.
The Ronald McDonald House provides family-centered programs for sick children and has saved families roughly $880,104,484 in out of pocket expenses. The Ronald McDonald House built its first location in Philadelphia in 1974. Today, The Ronald McDonald House provides support to more than 64 countries and regions and continues to give families the care they need during trialing times.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., the Children Defense Fund (CDF) fights for children’s rights. This group advocates for policies and programs that help keep children safe, give them fair opportunities and proper access to healthcare. Originating from the Civil Rights Movement, Marian Wright Edelman, the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, founded the group in 1973. The program now has offices across seven different states.
400 million children live in extreme poverty around the world. This international organization aims to solve this issue. Through sponsors and charitable contributions, the group’s ultimate vision is to graduate “healthy, educated, empowered and employed young adults” from the program. Founded in 1936, the organization spans across 10 countries and has helped more than one million children.
Looking for more ways to support Universal Children’s Day? The United Nations encourages everyone to use the hashtag #GoBlue and celebrate by wearing blue clothing on November 20!