Family is forever. It is the foundation of a society. Almost all family members get a day dedicated to them, for example, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even siblings’ day. So why not an International Day of Families?
The United Nations considers the Family a vital institution in society by celebrating the International Day of Families. The year 1994 was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations. It was to act on the changing social and economic structures that have affected the family system internationally.
It has been celebrated annually on the 15th of May since 1994 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was declared by the UN in 1993 but was first celebrated in 1994. The International Day of Families is represented by a green circle with a stretched heart inside that forms a roof of a house on top.
Purpose of International Day of Families
The International Day of Families aims to spread awareness about the benefits of the family and the multiple issues relating to families across the world. It highlights its importance in society because having strong families strengthens the foundation of a society.
It is a day to celebrate all families worldwide and what it means to each and all. It reminds us that all families are different and that there is no perfect family. They come in different sizes and colours. It is not only the people we share DNA with, but a family is mainly the people we love.
We acknowledge the challenges that families face nowadays and how society can develop solutions to help them. Some of the issues families face are distance, especially during the pandemic, money problems, domestic abuse, access to healthcare, and the arguments about the different parenting styles.
The purpose of the International Day of Families is to attract the attention of the leaders of all countries to develop new policies to help create a supportive environment for families and especially children. It allows the people to recognise the values of families.
What to do during the International Day of Families?
Institutions hold public exhibitions and discussions to discuss ideas about that year’s theme. For example, schools usually prepare a special assembly and a speech about the importance of families and how the given theme influences them.
The day is an excellent opportunity for people to spend time with their families. Some even take the day off to do activities with their family, go for a hike or to the beach, have a picnic, or simply have lunch and dinner to celebrate the special bond only a family can have.
Overall, this day allows us to reflect on what family means to us and show our appreciation, even though it should be done once and not once a year, visiting and calling relatives.
Theme of the International Day of Families
On each International Day of Families, the United Nations introduces a theme. Last year’s theme was “Families and New Technologies”. It focused on technological developments and how they impact families. With COVID-19, new technologies have greater involvement in our lives.
The theme of Internal Day of Families 2022 is “Families and Urbanisation”.
Urbanisation plays a significant role in forming modern society. It shapes the world and influences families worldwide. This year’s theme aims at discussing the features of sustainable urbanisation and its impact on families. It stresses the Sustainable Development Goals such as poverty eradication, good health and well-being, making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and reducing inequality within and among countries.
YUVA works with families to ensure that children and young people have access to good health, are well educated, experience parents’ love and surroundings, and are cared for, protected, and participating.
The International Day of Families is celebrated everywhere and is very important. Families consist of the people you love and whom you care for. This day allows you to honour your family members and be grateful for their presence and for all the things they gave you – love, care, attention, trust, and a sense of belonging. The United Nations even recognised the family as a basic unit of society. So, family is vital for a society to thrive, and most importantly, it should be celebrated altogether.
Ingrid Roussel, YUVA Intern