International Day of Families
Families are the foundation of society. Although no family is perfect, every family should strive to help each other meet their physical and emotional needs. Over the years, global trends and geographical changes have transformed families into different structures. The UN, therefore, recognizes Family as a vital unit in society through the celebration of the International Day of Families. The holiday is observed every year on the 15th of May with an aim to strengthen the family bond and raise awareness of issues relating to families.
History of International Day of Families
The quest to celebrate families started in the 1980s. The UN General Assembly was concerned about the many issues affecting society and hoped to deal with them. With the help of the Economic and Social Council, the UN developed 1983/23 resolution in regards to the role of the family in economic growth and development.
On September 20th, 1993, the UN developed another resolution, A/RES/47/237 which was an affirmation of previous recommendations and a show of commitment in promoting better living standards for families worldwide. It is also on that day that the UN designated 15th May as the official International Day of Families.
The first International Day of Families was observed on 15th May 1994, and it has been in celebration every year since then.
Every year, the UN organizes International Day of Families activities such as workshops, seminars, conferences, TV and radio programs that revolve a uniquely selected theme.
The Symbol of International Day of Families
The International Day of Families’ logo consists of two colors. It has a solid green circle with a red image. The symbol also incorporates a schematic drawing of a heart and a house which are the basics of every family life. The drawing signifies that the family is the central societal part that offers a stable home to people of all age groups.
How to Celebrate the International Day of Families
Join in the global celebrations by participating in the International Day of Families activities organized by the UN. The organized events are on a local, national and international level. Some communities hold workshops, seminars, exhibitions, education sessions and games for youth and children. Public officials and other NGOs hold meetings to deliberate on policies that affect families both directly and indirectly.
If no such activities are happening near you, organize a community family picnic. You will be amazed at how much your neighbors have always wanted to know each other but have never figured a way to do it. Plan icebreaker activities such as games to help everyone interact and enjoy the event.
On this day, reflect on what family means to you. A family doesn’t always mean blood. A family is the people who don’t mind you being part of them. These people love you and accept you as you are.
You can also undertake a project with your family meant to benefit the community. For instance, you can join an organization like Habitat for Humanity which builds houses for the needy. By building a house for another family, you’ll not only be helping the needy but also bonding with your own family.
Remember to share your celebration messages on social media via the hashtag #InternationalDayofFamilies
Why Celebrate the International Day of Families
International Day of Families highlights the importance of having strong family units. A healthy family gives rise to strong communities ultimately helping every member feel better about themselves. It is also a constant reminder that families don’t look alike. Some families have children, and other don’t. Some have both parents while others have one or none. Therefore, International Day of Families is a time to celebrate the different families and their uniqueness.
Another great reason why we celebrate this day is the opportunity it gives us to have critical conversations. Many families across the world have issues they deal with such as poverty, unemployment, child rearing and lack of proper health care. International Day of Families brings together governments and other not for profit organizations to reiterate on how these issues can be dealt with.