Children in Timor-Leste celebrate the International Children’s Day
Family is principle for child development and protection
This year, UNICEF supported different activities to mark the annual celebration of International Children’s Day in Timor-Leste. Since 2010, Timor-Leste has used the 1st June as a day to remind stakeholders that every child has the right to a safe, healthy, peaceful childhood, which prepares them for a brighter and more prosperous future.
Celebrating Children’s Day in Same, Manufahi Municipality
UNICEF joined INDDICA (Instituto para a Defesa dos Direitos da Criança), and the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI) in Same, Manufahi Municipality, where the International Children's Day celebration took place.
More than 500 children from the municipality attended this annual event, which ran under the theme, “Family is the principal core for child development and protection”.
“The theme of the International Children’s Day in Timor-Leste is “Family is the principal core for child development and protection”. This is a theme which reminds us that the family is the best environment for the full growth and development of the child. Through the leadership and guardianship of parents and caregivers, the family structure provides children with their first experience of love, care, protection and access to nutritious food,” said Antonio Gomez, Communication Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste who represented UNICEF Timor-Leste at the event.
Participants at the event included H.E. Signi Chrandawati Verdial, Vice Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI); H.E. Maria do Rosário Fátima Correia, Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion (SEII), Dinorah Granadeiro, President of INDDICA; Arantes Isaac Sarmento, Administrator of Manufahi Municipality, National Police Institution Representative, local leaders, teachers, parents, and children.
Speakers at the event reiterated the importance of the family structure in providing the best environment for the full growth and development of the child. Without strong family systems in place, physical violence, sexual violence, abuse, exploitation, child labour and malnutrition, become real threats to children.
Plan International, Care International, World Vision and the Child Rights Advocacy Network, also supported the successful hosting of this year’s International Children's Day.
Children’s Day celebration in Dili Municipality
In Dili, 200 children from Tasi-Tolu Child Friendly Space celebrated the day with structured plays, singing, dancing and reading of poems. Parents, local authorities, and youth volunteers from the Child Friendly Space also took part in these celebrations.
“I express our immense gratitude to UNICEF and Ba Futuru for this initiative as we can see that our children are learning a lot from it,” said, Flavia Febriana Boavida, a mother who represented all parents at the celebrations.
Child Friendly Space (CFS) is an initiative of MMSI, UNICEF and Ba Futuru to respond to the psychosocial needs of the children and their parents. These safe spaces were initially set up to provide psycho-social support to children and their families in the aftermath of the April 2021 floods.
The Child Friendly Space (CFS) is part of the Spotlight Initiative, a global partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate violence against women and children. The activities under CFS are implemented through a partnership between UNICEF and the NGO Ba Futuru.
Children’s Day celebration at the UN compound
Children of UNICEF and other UN Agencies’ staff spent the afternoon of 1st June decorating the UNICEF wall with their colourful painted palms.
A multi coloured artwork was produced by the children to also commemorate this year’s International Children’s Day. The artwork symbolises the colourful dreams that every Timorese child has for a brighter tomorrow.
In addition to the fun artistic work, the children also took part in dancing and quizzes.
Ms. Funmi Balogun, UN Resident Coordinator, also joined the children to celebrate this special day.
And Mr. Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani, UNICEF Country Representative, along with UNICEF staff was also happy to participate in this painting activity to show their commitment and support for the children.