Now that Halloween is over, children and adults, especially in the United States, have — hopefully — nursed their stomachache from too much candy. US Americans now look towards to November’s cherished Thanksgiving Day while around the globe many are already trying to make December’s holiday plans. Not least of all due to these prominent holidays, the last three months of the year always bring an extra focus on the kids.
20 November has also been labeled as Universal Children’s Day. Quite unlike Halloween and Christmas, this day is not about giving gifts or munching candy, but rather about empowering and improving the lives of children throughout the world.
This is also a common goal among many of the InterNations Volunteer Groups. In the following, we would like to show what some of them have recently done to improve the lives of children in Moscow, Manila, and São Paulo.
Transform a Dreary Hospital into a Cheerful Place — Moscow
Elena Urbanovich and the Moscow Volunteer Group have started a campaign which transforms hospital hallways into colorful passages. The project focuses on turning hospitals into a warmer and friendlier space.
The results have been so amazing that Elena recently had her fourth “Colourful Passage to Healthy Being” project. Volunteers are not only able to paint the walls, but they can also donate much-needed art supplies to ensure the project always has enough paint and brushes to go around!
Make Sick Kids Smile — Manila
Even as adults, whenever we get sick, we still long for someone to cheer us up and make us smile, and so we all can sympathize when children fall ill.
The Manila Volunteer Group sent over 20 volunteers to spend the day with hospitalized children at Quirino Memorial Medical Center, creating art and distracting the kids from their pains and clinic blues. The group “adopted” more than 30 children and provided them with art kits as a way to entertain them between their treatments.
Celebrate Various Cultures for Children’s Day — São Paulo
When you were a kid, were you ever terribly excited to meet people from other countries? Jacira and the São Paulo Volunteer Group visited the children at the Brazilian orphanage Vivenda da Criança and organized a day full of cultural exchange and positive interaction.
The multinational team of volunteers came from the US, the UK, Israel, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, and, of course, Brazil. They gave a short introduction about all of their home countries to the children and spent the rest of their time playing games and learning about each other’s culture.
Send Postcards to Sick Children — Wherever You Are
As the year is coming to a close, we realize that a lot of volunteers will be traveling home and may not be able to attend as many activities as they would like. So how about an activity that you can do wherever you’re located in the world?
You can write postcards to sick children all over the world, and then post them as you travel. You are staying home for the holidays? You can still participate! Send Kids the World has a list of addresses to sick children worldwide who would love to hear from you — wherever you are. Just go to the website and follow the steps and your postcard will make a difference to a child with a life-threatening illness.
(Special thanks to the newly launched Oslo Volunteer Group for the idea!)
(Image credit: InterNations)