Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

In 1938, philanthropist Dr J Calvitt Clarke had a vision: to provide life-saving support to families in China recovering from war. Today, ChildFund is represented in over 60 countries, helping the world’s most vulnerable children.

Over our long history, ChildFund is immensely proud to worked in partnership with families and local communities across the globe to ensure that thousands of children can survive and thrive.

Our Childhood Manifesto articulates why we believe every child needs a childhood. It is the foundation of our work with children, their families and communities, and drives our continued efforts to ensure that every child can say: “I am safe. I am educated. I am heard. I have a future.”

The Childhood Manifesto

Every child needs a childhood. But not all childhoods are the same.

Too many children don’t survive childhood.

Too many children endure a childhood scarred by poverty, where their basic human rights are ignored.

Too many children experience a childhood marred by violence and fear.

Too many children experience a childhood where education ends too early, and work begins too soon.

Too many children experience a childhood where they are not respected or listened to.

But when a child is nurtured, protected, and given opportunities …

When a child feels safe, encouraged, and valued …

When a child is free to learn and to play …

Then the potential of that child can be realised.

That child will make a vital contribution to their family, community and society.

And when that child reaches adulthood, they can nurture the childhoods that follow.

Childhood has a deadline. It’s a formative period where experience and conditions determine a child’s present, and set the course for their future. We must do all in our power to ensure that every child can survive and thrive.

Because every child needs a childhood.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) will mark its 30th anniversary in 2019.

As one of the most ratified human rights treaties in history, the CRC has played a significant and vital role in both defining and upholding the rights of children. It ensures we value children’s lives now, not only their adult futures.

The CRC has also resulted in the implementation of child protection policies and legislation in almost all developing countries.

However, progress has been uneven, and the rights of many millions of children continue to be violated.

This year there will also be a renewed focus on how we uphold every child’s right to live free from violence and exploitation, with the United Nations undertaking its first review of SDG 16.2.

As the world shines a spotlight on children’s rights in 2019, ChildFund Australia will be a prominent voice on the importance of childhood for all children  ̶  a childhood where children are nurtured, protected and have opportunities to reach their full potential.

We know childhood has a deadline and we must do all in our power to be a champion for children.

In 2019, we will speak up for childhoods.

The right to be nurtured

Too many children face extreme disadvantage from their earliest years.

They are born in unsafe conditions, lacking proper nutrition, safe water and healthcare.

Giving parents access to basic necessities, as well as the tools and knowledge they need to raise healthy, resilient children, increases a child’s chance of survival dramatically.

Every child should have a childhood where they feel cared for, encouraged and valued.

ChildFund believes every child has the right to live in a nurturing environment. We must do all in our power to ensure that every child can survive and thrive.

We want every child to be able to say: “I have a future.”

ChildFund implements programs that prioritise health and wellbeing, and build children’s resilience, working with their families and communities to ensure their basic human rights are safeguarded and upheld.