Consortium for Street Children has been working towards International Day for Street Children 2014 by planning a number of strategies and activities for the event on 12th April 2014.
Cooridnating with our network of over 80 organisations, we're determined to build on last year's success and make the next International Day for Street Children even bigger and better than ever.
Our Network Development Director has been on a number of field trips recently to gather feedback on a toolkit we are producing for working with street girls. During these visits we have posed the question to a number of children "If the whole world was listening, what would you say?"
We are gathering children's answers to this question, to get their personal thoughts on what International Day for Street Children means to them - what they would say if they had the world's audience on just one day of the year.
CSC recently celebrated its 20th anniversary at a reception in the Houses of Parliament. Sir John Major, patron of CSC and Prime Minister during the organisation's founding in 1993 paid tribute to the work CSC is doing around International Day for Street Children and offered his support for the day, highlighting how CSC was founded partly in response to the massacre of street children in Brazil in 1993 and that 20 years on, the world's attention will once again shift to the country as it hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup. As Sir John poingantly said, "Next year Brazil will get 36 days. We only ask for one".
We're also delighted to announce that the International Police Association has added its support to International Day for Street Children, fully endorsing it and promoting it to their global network of 400,000 current and former police officers.
With these endorsements we will continue to promote awareness of the day, and coorindate with our network to hold numerous events and celebrations around the day next year, focusing on what a UN recognised day means for street-connected children in different localities, cultures and situations.
In the last report we covered the results of International Day for Street Children 2013, documenting the impressive increase in participation and awareness from the previous year's event.
Already, with more than seven months to go, we're planning for 2014 - aiming to build upon 2013's 'Demand a Day' theme.
Our Advocacy team has been busy working the halls of the UN and various embassies from around the world, mapping out the steps that need to be taken on an international level in order for the day to be officially recognised and endorsed by the United Nations. It's a long, sometimes complicated process, but we've already taken the first steps in a long, exciting and ultimately rewarding journey.
We've spoken to a number of ambassadors on the importance of recognising the day, and supporting it at the UN in New York, and are already beginning to get a feel for those countries which have suggsted their support for the day.
Along with this, we're also continuing to push general awareness of the day, and awareness of the importance of UN recognition, with the general public. We're continuing to push the petition, encouraging the public from all over the world to sign it and share it with their friends and family. This leads us to our next step in the project - an infographic detailing the journey from petition signature to UN recognition, that while the decision takes place in the United Nations in New York, it begins with you: The person on the street who demanded a day for street children.
Keep a look out for the new infographic in the next project report.
International Day for Street Children 2013 was celebrated all over the world in 132 countries - an increase on 2012 of 247%.
With the CSC network holding various events in their project countries around the world, the Consortium for Street Children itself staged an awareness raising event in London at Old Street station. The main theme of this year's event was to demand the United Nations officially recognise the day, and we carried this out under the banner of 'Home Street Home' - recognising that for many children, the street is their home.
CSC worked with a number of creative agencies to create large 'bedroom signs' which were then hung at three of the exits to Old Street station, highlighting that although the surroundings were grim, they were the kind of place many children end up sleeping in. CSC staff stood by the signs and throughout the station handing out flyers that explained the importance of UN recognition of the day, and offered a free text number for people to add their names to the petition.
Over the course of the day we received over 1500 signatories, including signatures from a number of high level UN figures and celebrities such as Stephen Fry.
While the awareness raising event was taking place, we took our social media campaign viral. Initially we designed posters boldly stating "I Demand a Day" or "We Demand a Day" for people across the world to print off and hold up, sending us a photograph of them doing so. People were also encouraged to design their own posters and send them in. The accompanying social media campaign was a huge success, with hundreds of photographs being sent in from as far away as rural Tanzania (see photo below from CSC member Mkombozi) and Calcutta, India.
With awareness raising taking place both online and offline, we ended up receiving over 3000 signatures by the end of April, and our Facebook and Twitter followers rose dramatically to over 1100 and 1900 respectively.
CSC will continue to raise awareness for the bid to get UN recognition of the day throughout the year, aiming to deliver the signatures in full to the UN when we have increased their numbers even more.
International Day for Street Children 2013 is just around the corner and this year Consortium for Street Children will be asking its supporters, decision makers, opinion formers and the wider public to 'Demand a Day'.
Following on from our last project report, we want International Day for Street Children to become a designated day at the United Nations, meaning more support, awareness, and action for street children around the world.
We can't do this alone, and our network members of over 80 organisations working with street children, and the public play a huge part in helping us to achieve our aim. So along with our ask for everyone supporting this year's event to 'Demand a day', we're promoting the idea that although the process behind getting a day official recognised by the UN is a long and often complex process, it's one that 'starts with you'
We want to make the voices of every one of our supporters, members and stakeholders heard, joining together as a unified demand for the 12th April to be recognised as International Day for Street Children.
It's six months until the next International Day for Street Children. As part of our ongoing activity empowering street children to have their say, we worked with a number of CSC network members to produce a series of films – sponsored by Aviva – which allows street children to speak out about the issues that they face. Take a look at two short videos from Save the Children India and Caretakers of the Environment Tanzania.
We want the 2013 event to be even bigger and more far reaching than the last, bringing together a wider audience who can be louder together, utilising social networks, viral campaigns and the collective resources of organisations supporting street children around the world.
We will be focusing International Day for Street Children 2013 on getting the day officially recognised by the United Nations, and hope to do this by generating significant public, national and international support for the day. We'll aim to do this by engaging not only the public in the UK, but also our network members around the world, coordinating with them in celebratory events marking the day and highlighting the importance of UN recognition.
With UN recognition, International Day for Street Children will provide street connected children around the world with a bigger, more visible platform on which their voices and concerns can be heard. This will mean that their situation and needs will be being discussed at the highest levels within the International Community, resulting in more positive action being taken by state bodies to help street children realise their rights. This is our aim for the next International Day for Street Children
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