Remember the Children

My first week in Kenya was spent with the incredible team at Ripples International in Meru.

I actually didn't know all that they did before I got there, but come to find out Mercy Chidi has led a grassroots initiative over the years to build a primary school, pediatric clinic, safe house for girls who are victims of gender violence, a rescue center for babies and small children who are abandoned or abused, women's empowerment groups and community development projects, HIV/AIDS testing and mobile clinics, and much more.

Most recently they have instigated and won a lawsuit against the Kenyan government/police for failure to follow up on rape/violence cases against children. She's a huge advocate for children's rights and her board room proudly houses a large poster with the United Nations Rights Of The Child, which I had personally never read. I wanted to share it here with you and encourage you to think about whether you've ever witnessed the violation of these rights.

I sure have. I'm thinking of the lady in the mall who yanked her kid around violently and screamed at him. Or the man who smacked his kid on the head with his college ring in front of me at a ball game. I said nothing. I did nothing. But inside of me I felt sick and sad.

I know parents get pushed to their limits. I'm not a parent, so I can only imagine what a tough job it is. And yet, I am taking a new pledge to be a stand for children and these rights. I won't sit silent anymore.

Here are the rights stated in child-friendly language:

UN Rights of the Child

Article 1

Everyone under 18 has these rights.

Article 2

All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.

Article 3

All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.

Article 4

The government has a responsibility to make sure your rights are protected. They must help your family to protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow and reach your potential.

Article 5

Your family has the responsibility to help you learn to exercise your rights, and to ensure that your rights are protected.

Article 6

You have the right to be alive....
(click the image above to download all)

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Blessings and let's all remember the children today!