Our Lord Jesus emphasized, ‘Let the children come to me; don’t hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’ In his time, society treated women and children as second-class citizens, but Jesus challenged that norm. He viewed all people equally, regardless of gender or age, and reprimanded his disciples for wanting to send children away. As Christ’s disciples or followers, it is incumbent upon us to embody his teachings by welcoming children and advocating for their rights.
Sadly, in today’s world, many children face tremendous challenges. A staggering 244 million children, including 50 million girls, are out of school according to UNESCO. Regrettably, this number is rising, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty, inequality, discrimination, and geographical barriers continue to deprive millions of children of their fundamental rights. Shockingly, 15,000 children under the age of 5 die every day due to preventable causes, with many living in dangerous war zones. The number of child refugees under the UNHCR’s protection has more than doubled from four million to around 10 million between 2005 and 2020.
It is our responsibility to honor Jesus’ legacy by making a difference in the lives of these children. Beyond prayers, we have the ability to take action. Supporting organizations such as UNICEF or Save The Children ensures that children receive protection and care. Furthermore, we can exert pressure on our elected officials to develop child-friendly policies, including effective basic education and functional school nutrition programs. Together, we can positively impact the lives of children in our communities and beyond.
Let us stand united with a resounding ‘Yes We Can’ in making the world a better place for all children, just as Jesus would have wanted.”