World Family Organization: 70 Years and still going strong!
And Celebrating the International Day of Families, Monday 15th May.
The Family Africa will be celebrating the International Day of Families which is held every year on Monday May 15th. 2017 is a very special year as the World Family Organization (www.worldfamilyorganization.org), of which The Family Africa is an affiliate, also celebrates its 70th Anniversary as it was formed by member nations of the United Nations in 1947. The Chairperson of the Family Africa, Mrs Rachel Aird is also on the Executive Board of the WFO, which is an organization which for the last 70 years has continued its work to promote the importance of the family unit, working with refugees, campaigning for family friendly government and local policies and promoting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s observance of the International Day of Families 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
- The Family Africa will be recognising the achievements of local families through recognition awards. Categories are: families living with disability, families living with long term sickness, child headed household, grandparent headed households.
- There will also be an art display by local children of what family means to them with prizes for the best submissions.
Rachel Aird gave us some suggestions for local organizations, companies, schools to celebrate The International Day of Families
- Hold an Open Day for families to show what your agency or organisation does
- Make a International Families Day display in your foyer, service area or office highlighting what you do for families and what families mean to your organisation
- Erect displays in libraries, health centres, shopping centres etc
- Place a suggestion box in your foyer to encourage visitors to comment on your services
- Hold a picnic or BBQ for staff, clients or the public to showcase your services
- Host a family-friendly day in your workplace and encourage staff to bring children to work for the day
- Have a work experience day for youth from the local school or children of staff
- Hold seminars on topics relevant to the week for your clients and staff
- Hold an open forum to discuss the concerns of families and youth in your area
- Disseminate information on youth and families, parenting and the issues faced by families
- Look at your work and family policies. How effective are they? Are staff aware of them? Do they need updating?
- Produce a National Families Week edition of your newsletter or publications
- Arrange for feature articles to be placed in the media on local families and wellbeing
- Promote the Week and any events or activities you organise through community radio.
- Have a photographic display or competition
- Hold a hip-hop or a multicultural dance display
- Hold a writing or poetry competition – ask the local paper to publish entries
- Organise a concert
- Arrange a community outing to local areas of interest
- Arrange to do something special for a family in difficult circumstances e.g. a gift hamper, arrange babysitting, take the children to a movie
- Promote the achievements of local families through recognition awards
- Promote the diversity of families in your local area
- Honour families and youth who are an inspiration to you
- Investigate families’ needs, the issues they face and review services accordingly
- Link up and organise events with service clubs, community organisations and service providers and agencies in your area – include invitations to more disadvantaged members of your area
- Provide colouring in sheets for children in public contact areas
- Provide discount entry to your facility for families
- Record interviews with people in your community to build an oral history
- Sponsor or raise funds for a local family or youth related community project
Ideas for families and individuals, perhaps you could:
- Give kids lots of hugs and smiles
- Take time just to be with children
- Spend time as parents building your relationship.
- Ask for help if you need it
- Have a family movie marathon
- Have a family sports carnival
- Hold a family talent quest night
- Have a family games night
- Tell each other what makes your family great!
- ‘Adopt’ a granny or grandpa at the local nursing home or hostel
- Encourage your family to make short movies on issues important to them – and then hold a “Movie Premiere Night”
- Be active and eat healthy foods together
- Have a special family breakfast before work and/or school
- Let the children make dinner for the adults – and choose the entertainment!
- Organise a family walkathon
- Organise a street party
- Take some family photos and create a special family album or book about your family
Rachel told us “The types of events are only limited by your imagination! Many of these ideas are interchangeable between organisations and families.” This year’s observance of the International Day of Families 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. So it would be great if local crèches and schools would get involved.
The Day will highlight 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 will focus 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 will also be highlighted. So when you think about it”, Rachel said, “Everyone should get involved!”
For more information on what The Family Africa does please see their web site www.familyafrica.com or if you would like some more activities you can as a family write to Rachel firstname.lastname@example.org