On Street Children’s Day in Austria, witness the incredible stories of resilience and transformation. Be part of the change as we empower the future. Don’t miss out
- Date: January 31st
- Main Components: Awareness campaigns, fundraising activities, solidarity actions, educational materials
- Popularity: Celebrated in over 100 countries by various organisations and individuals
- Pairings: Salesians of Don Bosco, Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, Jugend Eine Welt
- Variations: International Day for Street Children (April 12)
Every year, on January 31, the world observes Street Children’s Day, a special day that acknowledges the strength and resilience of millions of street-connected children around the world. This day was started by an Austrian non-profit organisation, Jugend Eine Welt, to raise public awareness and funds for the projects that support street children in various countries. Street Children’s Day also aims to highlight the challenges and risks that street children face every day, such as violence, exploitation, hunger, and lack of education. Moreover, Street Children’s Day calls for action and solidarity from governments and individuals to ensure that street children are protected and respected as human beings with rights and dignity. The theme of Street Children’s Day 2023 is “Keeping Street-Connected Children Safe”, which focuses on what makes street children feel safe or unsafe, and what can be done to improve their situation.
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Street Children’s Day: History and Background
Street Children’s Day was initiated by Jugend Eine Welt in 2009, as a way to draw attention to the plight of street children and to support the work of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, who have been helping street children for over a century. Jugend Eine Welt is an Austrian non-profit organisation that engages in development cooperation, education, and advocacy for youth issues. The organisation works closely with the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, who are religious orders founded by Saint John Bosco, a patron saint of youth. The Salesians and the Salesian Sisters run various projects for street children in more than 130 countries, such as schools, shelters, vocational training centres, health clinics, and sports facilities.
Street Children’s Day is celebrated every year on January 31, which is also the feast day of Saint John Bosco. On this day, various activities and campaigns are organised by Jugend Eine Welt and its partners, such as schools, parishes, youth groups, media outlets, and other organisations. Some of the activities include awareness-raising events, fundraising actions, solidarity gestures, prayers and songs, testimonials and stories, educational materials and information packages. Street Children’s Day has been recognised and supported by various institutions and personalities, such as the Austrian government, the European Union, UNICEF, celebrities, and media figures.
Street Children’s Day has achieved some significant impacts and outcomes over the years. For example, it has raised millions of euros for the projects that help street children around the world. It has also increased the public awareness and understanding of the situation and needs of street children. It has also influenced some policy changes and initiatives that benefit street children at national and international levels. For instance, in 2017, the United Nations adopted a General Comment on Children in Street Situations, which provides a comprehensive guideline for governments to respect and protect the rights of street children.
Street Children’s Day: Focus and Activities
The focus and theme of Street Children’s Day 2023 is “Keeping Street-Connected Children Safe”. This theme reflects the reality that many street children face daily threats and dangers from various sources, such as violence from peers, exploiters, drug traffickers, or authorities; exploitation from child labour, prostitution, or trafficking; hunger and malnutrition from lack of food and water; diseases and infections from poor hygiene and sanitation; natural disasters and emergencies from environmental factors; discrimination and stigma from society; lack of education and opportunities from social exclusion. These factors make street children feel unsafe and insecure in their lives.
The activities and campaigns planned for Street Children’s Day 2023 aim to address these issues and to promote the safety and well-being of street children. Some of the activities include:
- Raising awareness about the causes and consequences of street children’s insecurity and vulnerability through media campaigns, social media platforms, educational materials, testimonials, stories, etc.
- Fundraising for the projects that provide safe spaces and services for street children, such as shelters, schools, health clinics, counselling centres, legal aid centres etc.
- Showing solidarity with street children by wearing a special badge or sticker with the logo of Street Children’s Day; sending messages or letters of support to street children; joining online events or webinars with street children and their advocates; donating or volunteering for the organisations that help street children
- Demanding change from governments and authorities by signing petitions or letters; lobbying or advocating for the implementation of the General Comment on Children in Street Situations; monitoring and reporting the violations of street children’s rights; participating in public demonstrations or protests.
People can participate and contribute to Street Children’s Day by visiting the official website of Jugend Eine Welt, where they can find more information and resources about the theme, activities, and campaigns of the day. They can also follow the social media accounts of Jugend Eine Welt and its partners, where they can share their opinions, experiences, and suggestions about Street Children’s Day. They can also contact Jugend Eine Welt or its partners directly, if they want to organise their own events or actions for Street Children’s Day.
The expected outcomes and benefits of Street Children’s Day 2023 are:
- To increase the public awareness and empathy for street children and their situation
- To raise funds and resources for the projects that improve the lives of street children
- To show solidarity and support for street children and their rights
- To influence policy changes and initiatives that protect and empower street children
Street Children’s Day is a special day that celebrates the lives of street children and highlights the efforts to have their rights respected and their needs met in a caring and respectful manner. Street Children’s Day was started by an Austrian organisation, Jugend Eine Welt, in 2009, and has since been celebrated in over 100 countries by various organisations and individuals. Street Children’s Day has achieved some significant impacts and outcomes over the years, such as raising funds, awareness, and policy changes for street children. Street Children’s Day 2023 has the theme of “Keeping Street-Connected Children Safe”, which focuses on what makes street children feel safe or unsafe, and what can be done to improve their situation. Street Children’s Day 2023 invites everyone to participate and contribute to the activities and campaigns that aim to promote the safety and well-being of street children. Street Children’s Day 2023 is an opportunity to show our solidarity and compassion for street children, who are our fellow human beings with rights and dignity.