Now in it’s 65th year, World Children’s Day, organised by the United Nations is a day to raise awareness on children’s welfare around the world, and promote international togetherness.
At the Watarrka Foundation, this celebration is very close to our hearts and aligns directly with the objectives of the Foundation, and how we approach supporting the children of Watarrka.
First established in 1954, this annual celebration was started as a way to ensure children of all countries have access to basic human rights, including the right to healthcare and the right to an education.
The 20th of November is a significant date for the continuing progress made worldwide on policies and declarations relating to children’s welfare. On the 20th of November, 1959 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and on the 20th of November, 1989 the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Now, 30 years on, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a widely supported international agreement, and with continuing progress has the potential to improve the lives of children around the globe. Although we’ve made great leaps towards supporting children of all nations, there’s still a long way to go for total equality and to ensure every child has every human right.
- United Nations (https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-childrens-day)
Although Australia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there’s still a long way to go, particularly when it comes to Australia’s Indigenous children. This is why World Children’s Day is so important in raising awareness to continue efforts in supporting children in Australia, and around the globe.
To promote healthy lifestyles within the Watarrka community, we’ve developed projects such as our fat bike program, and our fresh produce program. Fat bikes are used around the school as an incentive for class attendance. It also makes exercising exciting and fun for the children of Watarrka. To further promote physical activity and sports, we’ve recently completed a full renovation of the school basketball court, making it a safe and exciting area for children to play together while keeping their school attendance up.
Our fresh produce program has been a huge success for many members of the Watarrka community. We’ve set up fruit orchards and veggie patches around the school, and have taught the children how to plant, maintain and harvest fresh produce that they can then eat with their families and wider community. We hope the children will take these learnings with them into adulthood and begin adopting healthy habits that will last them for life.
- Paul Jensen, Chairman of the Watarrka Foundation
A few of the major barriers to an education for the children of Watarrka were the availability of school resources, and low school attendance. Since the Foundation started working within the region, we’ve re-started the Watarrka Primary School and made further developments to it’s structure and capabilities in order to facilitate teaching children up till grade 10. The classrooms are now modern, friendly spaces that are fully air conditioned making the school environment enjoyable for children and teaching staff.
With the focus of driving school attendance, the Foundation has implemented a range of programs to make school more enjoyable for the children of Watarrka. These include the fat bike program, the new basketball court, the fresh produce program and our annual sports & storytelling festival where members of various communities come together to inspire the children and make learning fun.
To learn more about World Children’s Day, head to https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-childrens-day