Where were you and what were you doing on World Children's Day?"This is your day – the day of the child!" exclaimed Peter Hayes – The British High Commissioner for
Sri Lanka as he addressed a gathering of children who were eagerly anticipating an evening filled with fun.
In 1954, the United Nations General Assembly suggested that all nations should observe a Universal Children's Day as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of activity promoting the welfare of the world's children.
The date of November 20 marks the day in 1959, when the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. And it is often the day chosen by countries as their own designated day to observe Universal Children's Day.
Sri Lanka celebrates its children on October 1, and this was when a group of over a hundred under
priviledged children had the time of their lives in the garden of the High Commissioner's residence, riding ponies, going on rides and playing games.
"These children come from the poorest of the poor families; and some of them are from prison families," explained Sanjeewa De Mel of HOPE Sri Lanka. "Our organization works with their orphanages as well as organizations such as ‘Friends in Need’ to improve their lives as much as we can. For the last few years, the British High Commisioner has hosted a fun filled party for them on Children's Day and this year is no
One of the highlights of the day for them, was the talented Magician Wondero who literally
produced many wonderful things out of his hat, including the famous bunny who was an instant hit.
To conclude his show, he turned the fire in the lamp he held, into a bouquet of colourful flowers to signify a world without fire but one filled with peace.
And that wrapped up a fun Children's Day for the marginalized kids of Colombo and its suburbs and kept them waiting for Children's Day 2009.