Giving all children the rights of childhood
Throughout my son’s childhood, he has always had enough to eat, a safe place to sleep, and the opportunity to learn and to dream about the future.
But every day in my work with The Global Fund for Children, particularly when I meet the children we serve, I’m reminded that millions of children around the globe are denied these basic rights of childhood. All children are born with vibrant spirits and unlimited potential—it’s our job to provide them with the things that they don’t come into the world with: safety, education, opportunity. That’s what drives me and my colleagues to do the work we do.
But what makes GFC special is that we don’t just create opportunities for children; we also lift up the courageous leaders who dedicate their lives to helping these children thrive. This grassroots, community-driven approach has been part of GFC since its beginning, pioneered by GFC’s founder, Maya Ajmera. In her new book, Invisible Children: Reimagining International Development at the Grassroots (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Maya powerfully asserts that the existing global agenda for children must change, and that we must invest in community organizations to give voice to the millions of children living on the margins of society.
At GFC, we work toward this vision every day. We provide our partners with mentoring, training, and resources to help them increase their capacity. We boost their visibility, building a movement for more financial support and greater recognition of their incredible work. The result of GFC’s efforts is stronger organizations that reach more children in need.
As I write this, the children of Haiti are on my mind. As local first responders, our partners in Haiti are on the front lines in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, providing shelter, food, and medical supplies to children and families. Thanks to supporters like you who contribute to GFC’s emergency fund, we are able to quickly respond with additional funding in their time of need. This is especially important because, unlike larger aid organizations, our Haitian-led partners will continue to serve these communities for years to come, helping them to recover and rebuild.
As always, I am so grateful for your support as we strive to ensure that all children—regardless of their circumstances—have the kind of childhood that every child deserves.