Monday, May 15, 2017

International Day of Families : families, education & well-being

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. It reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. 

1994 was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations. This was a response to changing social and economic structures, which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of family units in many regions of the globe. More than ever.

This year’s observance focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members. 

In particular, the Day is to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth.

credits: Elyx Yak


The Day highlights the importance of all caregivers in families, be it parents, grandparents or siblings and the importance of parental education for the welfare of children. 

It focuses on good practices for work-family balance to assist parents in their educational and caregiving roles. Good practices from the private sector in support of working parents, as well as youth and older persons in the workplace are also highlighted.

The Day also aims to discuss the importance of ‘knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development’ (SDG4, target 4.7).

2017 Theme: “Families, education and well-being."

credits: Elyx Yak

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development. Major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools particularly for women and girls. Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, yet bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals. For example, the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, but few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education.


"Parental involvement improves educational outcomes for children and has been linked to better test scores, fewer emotional and behavioural problems, lower dropout rates and better transition into adulthood. Facilitating parenting involvement has an often untapped potential to the achievement of SDG4."

In fact, children and young people supported by the well-being of the family have better test scores and fewer emotional and behavioural problems.

If the families have problems, unemployment, war, to raise happy children, students reflect all of those unhappy feeling at school.

The challenge for world leaders is to solve this puzzle and to help citizens, families, find sustainable and long-term employment opportunities to raise happy children.
In many countries, that day provides an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. 
Activities include workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programmes highlighting relevant themes, the launching of campaigns for public policies to strengthen and support family units. 

Family is where you seek comfort, solace and support. It's your own little world in this huge world. So it's up to you to make World Family Day a special and memorable occasion; more so, an occasion that celebrates love and bonding, the very foundations on which families exist.

Some activities:
  • Set out to visit an interesting place: This part of the day can only get better by visiting an unusual place. It could be a city park, do a bike ride, go to a museum. As a family, most of the times you bond over a visit to the mall or the cinema. Not today ! Do something different! It will be as exciting as it will be educational
  • Play a sport with your kids or engage in an adventure activity: Go rappelling with your kids, visit the closest boating center or play a game of cricket or tennis or football. When it comes to inculcating sportsmanship and competitive spirit in your kids, nothing comes close to sports and outdoor activities.
  • Take a family selfie : Apart from the above activities, you can make World Family Day really special even by clicking a selfie with your family. Yes, you read that right – a selfie. 

Teachers are the other side of the family. Invite the parents and single parents of your students and do something different! 
Not a lesson, neither a conference. Do educational and inclusion parties or games at school with parents and students. Not so radical as the photo ! But yes ! Do something special ! And different.

It will be as exciting as it will be educational and helping families with multiple problems

15.05. 2017

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