Commemoration of the International Day of Families

Commemoration of the International Day of Families
Commemoration of the International Day of Families

SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa commemorates International Day of Families on 15 May.

On this day we promote awareness of issues relating to families and we seek to increase the knowledge of social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families.

This year’s theme of the International Day of Families is ‘Families and Demographic Change’ and will focus on the megatrends of demographic change and its impacts on families.  The day will help share current knowledge on demographic trends, facilitate the analysis of the impacts of demographic trends on family life, and recommend responsive family-oriented policies. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the importance of families and advocate for the recognition of families as a fundamental unit of society.

SOS Children’s Villages believes that “Every child should belong to a family and grow up with love, respect and security”. In a world filled with poverty, violence and injustice, the greatest victims are often children. We advocate for a better family structure, which is critical for the development of children’s social, cognitive, psychosocial, and physical well-being.

SOS Children’s Villages’ Family Strengthening Programme aims to strengthen families which are at risk, so that complete family breakdown can be prevented. The objective is to improve the family situation for children, striving towards a world where children and young people overcome adversities, are proud of themselves, their achievements and look forward to a future of opportunity, equality and equity.

Demographic megatrends are the result of demographic changes, international migration and urbanization, climate change, technological transformations, price inflation, and Covid-19. According to the UN Population Prediction, in late 2022, the world’s population reached eight billion people. Demographic change is one of the most important megatrends impacting our world and the life and well-being of families worldwide.

The Family Strengthening Programme aims to:

  • Promote approaches that reinforce parents’ capacities in dealing with child protection concerns and in addressing family concerns and harsh discipline in the household.
  • Promote loving, warm, and affectionate relationships between parents and their children, using age-appropriate strategies, to promote the families and children`s well-being.
  • Promote safe and healthy environments for parents to engage with children.
  • Promote the value of families and diversity.

“On this International Day of Families, as a child protection organisation we call for stakeholders to work together to strengthen and improve the situation of families, so that children can grow up in loving families, in order to reach their highest potential”, concludes Lebo Phaweni, Head of Communications for SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa.

About SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of South Africa’s marginalised children. We offer loving, family-like care for children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. Established in 1984, SOS has eight Children’s Villages and three Social Centres across eight provinces.

Each year our Alternative Care, Family Strengthening and Youth Employability programmes provide life-changing support to children and families across the country.

The Alternative Care model comprises of four principles that include a mother (each child has a caring parent), brothers and sisters (the family ties grow naturally), a house (a secure place to grow up in) and a village (the SOS family is part of the community).

Our Family Strengthening Programme aims to enable children who are at risk of losing the care of their families to grow within a safe family environment. We work in co-operation with local authorities and other service providers to empower families and communities to effectively protect and care for their children. We care for more than 5000 children and youth across South Africa.

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