Message of Mahtab Keramati, UNICEF Iran’s Good Will Ambassador on The Occasion of the Children’s Day
Tehran, 8 October 2009- Children grow up, laugh and cry, play and learn with us. All adults know full well that they have a responsibility to teach. But in doing so, it is sometimes forgotten that a child is not a mere subject. Children also think, feel and have opinions…, worthy to be listened to, thought about and taken seriously into account in our everyday interaction with them.
UNICEF Iran has chosen the theme “Listen to Kids!” this year to remind us that children should express their views and participate in issues that affect their lives.
Communicating their opinion is not the only issue; their opinions should be given weight. Commensurate with their age, children should be involved in decisions related to their lives.
Doing so requires change. It will require a shift in attitudes of adults, being that at home, at school, or any other place in the child’s environment. All of us should try to not only talk to children, but also listen to them. The first steps may be unfamiliar and difficult, but the results are guaranteed. And they will benefit not only the children, but all members of society.
We can start from today. Even when they complain or express their dissatisfaction, they want to talk. They want to talk, because they want to pass on their dreams, hopes and feelings to us. They have a right to be sensitive about their life, to express their opinion and to ask us to take their ideas into account. Let’s deliberate for a moment… Let’s Listen to Children!