Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Why we believe every child needs a childhood

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.

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