Many regions and organizations around the world celebrated World Children’s Day on September 20, 2021. Among them was the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Germany, which marked the day by launching this year’s Children Helping Children Action. The initiative includes a drive to collect care packages across Germany.
Care Packages for Children in Need
For more than 20 years, German children, their parents, and grandparents have been packing Christmas packages for children of families in need in eastern and southeastern Europe. ADRA-sponsored care packages include toys and art sets, clothing, exercise books, and often a personal message.
Through the Children Helping Children Action initiative, ADRA helps German children to develop compassion for their peers in other parts of the world. This year the project will provide special assistance to children in Serbia, ADRA Germany leaders said in a press release. “Since 2000, we have been able to put a smile on the faces of 678,026 children,” ADRA public relations officer Matthias Münz said.
United Nations World Children’s Day
World Children’s Day is observed in more than 145 countries around the world to draw attention to the special needs of children. The day aims to raise awareness of issues such as child protection, child policy, and, above all, the observance of children’s rights.
Internationally, there is no uniform date. In more than 40 countries, such as China and many central and eastern European countries, including former Soviet republics, International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1.
Children Helping Children Action
Under the motto, “Sharing makes you happy,” children participating in the initiative are invited to put a package together with the help of their parents and experience the joy of giving and sharing. Every year during the Christmas season, children across Germany are invited to participate. It is an initiative that takes place in many homes and also in schools and kindergartens.
ADRA leaders said that every care package should be a message to the children, a message that reminds them, “We are thinking of you. We want to make you happy. We wish you well, and that’s why we have filled our care package with good things and beautiful gifts,” they said. “We are drawn to perceive the needs in other parts of our world, learn to share, and take responsibility in action. It is something we find very important.”
Children’s Projects and Educational Work
“Thanks to the care package campaign, we have been able to carry out other children’s projects,” Münz said. “A care package can become long-term help for children and families.”
For ADRA Germany, helping others is something in which all can participate. “Everyone can help,” the humanitarian agency said. “And it starts with thinking about other people and wanting to understand what they are going through.”