Sharjah Child Friendly Office uses power of children’s art  to reinforce impact of climate change  

On World Children’s Day, global competition ‘From Sharjah’s Children to the World’, draws attention to climate change and its impact on child rights 

As countries mark World Children’s Day each year on November 20, the emirate of Sharjah has much to celebrate and pride itself for the great strides it has taken in supporting and protecting children and investing in their welfare, in line with the goals of this annual occasion.

The emirate’s pioneering efforts in empowering children and protecting their right to grow up in a safe and clean environment, led to Sharjah being recognised as a Child Friendly City by UNICEF in 2018. This ground-breaking achievement was the outcome of collaborative efforts between different entities in the emirate and the Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), which led the efforts to meet the new international requirements and criteria launched by UNICEF’s global Child Friendly City initiative.

Since its establishment, SCFO, a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has committed to protecting and elevating the rights and wellbeing of children of all ages in Sharjah. SCFO’s focus is on empowering children, understanding their needs, and developing their skills while protecting their right to live in a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment that enhances their participation and ensures all their rights.Sharjah Child Friendly Office uses power of children’s art

In line with the theme of World Children’s Day this year, which addresses some of the most pressing challenges faced by children worldwide including climate change, SCFO has launched a global competition for children and young people on social media.

Titled ‘From Sharjah to the World’s Children’, participants were encouraged to post their drawings or stories on SCFO’s social media account. Taking their inspiration from nature and the world around them, the art or literary works sought to promote environment protection and called for combatting climate change to secure a better future for the generations to come.

Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, said that World Children’s Day is a platform for all entities and organisations involved in improving child welfare worldwide to unite efforts and review the progress achieved in protecting children’s rights, ensuring their socialpsychological, emotional, and physical health, as well as protecting their environmental rights.

She added that World Children’s Day gives all organisations the opportunity to explore effective ways to address the challenges the world is facing due to conflicts, poverty, natural disasters and climate change, as all these elements affect children’s welfare, education, health and security.

Dr. Al Ghazal noted that in line with this year’s emphasis on climate change and its impact on children’s rights and lives across the world, SCFO had launched a creative competition to ignite the imagination of children through art and writing, and encourage them to have their say on local as well as global matters that affect them.

Since its inception, SCFO has launched a series of projects and initiatives and participated in various events and conferences related to protecting children’s rights, elevating their status and wellbeing, and nurturing their skills. These objectives have been achieved through facilitating their access to education and healthcare, protecting their emotional and physical health, and promoting their participation in society. The Office focuses on engaging all members of the UAE society and organisations in making the world a better place for children.

World Children’s Day 2020 will serve as a global platform that brings together parents, teachers, physicians, governments, civil society organisations, businesses and media to discuss and address the challenges that affect children’s life and explore new ways to promote their development and enable them to grow into capable citizens with a passion to make a positive change in their communities.

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