ARMM celebrates Universal Children’s Day

The Regional Human Rights Commission of ARMM led the worldwide celebration of the Universal Children’s Day at the historic Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex at the ORC Compound in Cotabato City last November 20, 2016.

Established in 1954, the Universal Children’s Day is celebrated (yearly on the 20th of November) to promote awareness, unity and improvement of children’s welfare worldwide.*November 20 was when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

Quality Education to Stop Violence Against Children was this year’s theme. A first for ARMM, the worldwide celebration was participated in by government employees, teachers, doctors, media friends and of course, students from the 5 provinces of ARMM.

Marilou del Rosario, Grade 1 teacher from Broce Central School, excitedly shared, “This is also a first for our school. With us today are 100 kids from Grade 2 to Grade 6 and 10 teachers. We are happy to be invited and participate”.

Outside the complex, a number of booths were set-up. Participants included Plan International, Save the children, ACF, Moropreneur, Int’l Visual Artists, CFSI and International award-winning Islamic art and calligraphy artist, Zohayma Montaner, Al-Haj.

Regional Human Rights Commission Chairperson Atty. Abdulnasser Badrudin said, “Today we celebrate as we reaffirm our duty and moral and legal obligation to protect and fulfil our children’s rights”. More so he added, “Quality education fulfils human rights”.

Providing an informative overview of the event, Atty. Mojahid Salic Guro, Chairperson of the Child Protection Committee of DepEd-ARMM emphasized that, “Common settings (of where violence normally takes place) includes home, school, community and online“. According to Atty. Guro, violence can be stopped through the promotion of quality education, awareness and conscious prevention.

DepEd ARMM Assistant Secretary for Special Projects Alfhadar Pajiji provided relief as he gamely exchanged jokes with the audience and re-informed everyone of DepEd’s Hotline Number that caters to complaints.

In lieu of Governor Mujiv Hataman’s absence, Regional Human Rights Commission Executive Director designate Jehan Yap Mitmug read his State of the Children Address. “Today is also historic as this is the first in the history of ARMM that we are celebrating the Universal Children’s Day”, Mitmug said.

Gov Hataman through Mitmug, asserts on the concern to continually respond to the needs of the children. That working for a better future entails taking care of our children and fulfilling their rights. The same has been part and parcel of the mandate of the government of ARMM.

It was added that, “Through poverty alleviation programs, we are able to better the quality of lives (of families)”.

During the event, children from the different provinces of ARMM delivered some heartfelt messages that focused on their dreams, ideals and hope for a better future.

Christopher Everingham, National Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Philippine Volcanoes, led an exciting balancing mind and body exercise for the children. Everyone inside the complex happily joined in the fun.

Dr. Sherjan P. Kalim, MD, DPSP , Cotabato Regional & Medical Center Blood Bank Head, acted as everyone’s Big Brother with a storytelling session about the “Story of One Blood” and introduced the character “Duglit” to the children.

The big reveal came with a big version of Human Rights’ Colouring Book titled Kulay at Karapatan. Of which, everyone received a copy.