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International day of the child

November 20, 2021

filles de la sagesse


Proposals for decor

  • A mirror, to remind us of the reality of the stages of life
  • Children’s footprints, to remind us of the rhythm of life
  • A flower, to form a beautiful bouquet
  • A secret box, to represent the child with its hidden potentialities and our influences
  • A child’s toy, to contextualize the celebration
  • A plant and a watering can, signs of the responsibility and influence of the child’s environment
  • A map of the country, to say that it is the responsibility of each citizen and each entity to take care of the growth of the children of the whole world
  • The Cross of Poitiers, to signify that without a spiritual sharing with the children they become destructive robots.
  • An Icon of Our Lady of the country, in addition to our contribution, to entrust the child to the care of Our Lady


« Mwen tou piti sou bra manman m »  or   « Here I am Lord, here I am as a child» or other

Start of the celebration

The sisters of the community, the Friends of Wisdom and some children enter in procession. While singing, each participant adds his or her flower to a vase to form a beautiful bouquet. Then, everyone sits down while humming. And, each person is invited to recount a happy memory of his/her childhood or something loved as a child.

Resume singing


The child is a human being with rights and dignity. What characterizes the child is its youth and vulnerability. Indeed, the child is a being growing, an adult in the making. They do not have the means to protect themselves. Therefore, the child must be the object of a particular interest and a specific protection.

On the occasion of the International Day of the Child, we are invited to reflect, to pray and to act. For it is our responsibility to ensure that the rights and duties of the child are respected. We focus on the child’s expressions of satisfaction. We focus on the child’s expressions of positive affect, expectations of self-efficacy and engagement in activities. However, well-being itself is not synonymous with ease. It does not imply an absence of difficulties, but the acceptance of the diversities or vicissitudes of life. Thus, we also tend to make a stop on vulnerable, exploited and domesticated children.

Everything is played on childhood, everything is risked on childhood, everything is bet on childhood. Because it forges the adult, the society, the future of tomorrow. Hence the anecdote:

“Tell me what childhood you had and I will tell you who you are.

As the plant to grow
Needs air and light,
Your children to blossom
Have your word that enlightens.
Those who thirst for truth
In your spirit are filled.
Like the stream and the sea,
Like the clear water of the fountains,
Like the well in the desert,
To all life are necessary.
Lord, you always fill us
With true life, with your love.
The bird builds for its young
The most marvellous of cribs.
He defends them, he feeds them,
Reflection of love in all beings
But God gives himself without sharing
To those he made in his image.


Just about everywhere in the world like in Haiti, child protection remains a concern. A report published by UNICEF in 2018 relates the following situation:

22 percent of children do not live with their biological parents.
More than 25,800 children are in institutions, 80 percent of whom are not orphans.
1 in 6 children is not registered at birth, denying them their first right to identity and putting them at risk of being denied access to basic social services.
85 percent of children aged 1-14 have experienced some form of violence, including psychological abuse and corporal punishment.
36 percent of girls and women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical and/or sexual violence.
207,000 children were in unacceptable domestic work situations.
Nearly 80 percent of children held in Haitian prisons have not been tried or sentenced.
Haitian children sometimes cross the border into the Dominican Republic without documentation, and are vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

Time of silence

“The true measure of a nation’s worth is how well it cares for its children, their health, their safety, the material resources available to them, their education, their socialization, their sense of being loved, valued, their retention in the family and country where they were born.” (UNICEF, Innocenti Report Card # 7, Florence, 2007)
The 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child (ICRC), in its Article 3, notes that “States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being. According to Ben-Arieh and Frones (2007): “Child well-being encompasses the quality of life in a broad sense. It refers to the child’s economic status, peer relationships, political rights, and opportunities for development.

Singing : Listen to the voice of the children / or Hymn to the future

The voice of CIDE

The 54 articles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) promote the rights of the child. They state the civil, economic, social and cultural rights of the child and promote his or her well-being. This Convention prioritizes the support of the parental function in order to satisfy the interests of the child. “While the CRC establishes the child as a rights holder, it also stipulates that parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child, and that they should be guided by the best interests of the child (Article 18)” (Boisson, 2010, p. 34). The responsibility of the authorities concerned is not limited to guaranteeing the rights of the child. It aims to recognize and support parents in their responsibility to better raise their offspring.

The involvement of children, thanks to their sensitivity, also includes that of their families. “Therefore, the first place where children give witness is precisely the family. It is a reciprocal witness: parents witness their faith to their children and at the same time, children and young people witness to their parents of their commitment to think of others, those others who go beyond their own family, beyond their own neighborhood, beyond their own country.”

With the Founders        

Montfort, at the Jesuits of Rennes at the Collège Saint Thomas (1685-1693), became familiar with a group of students. He agreed to pray regularly to the Virgin Mary. And, in another association gathered by the Abbé Bélier, he visited the poor in hospitals. He was drawn to the poor, the excluded, the marginalized. A student of the College wears a patched suit that makes him ridiculous. He is laughed at. Louis-Marie is indignant: he takes up a collection and collects little money because the students are more braying than silver. What does it matter! He takes his protégé to a clothier to whom he says straightforwardly: “Here is my brother and yours. I begged in a class what I have to clothe him. If that is not enough, you can add the rest. And the merchant complied.


  1. Holy Mary, Mother of God and Mother of all, pray for all the children of the earth, now and always!
  • To be well, the child needs the unconditional love of his parents. R
  • In order to be well, the child needs to receive empathy, which is to say that his pleasant and unpleasant emotions are welcomed. R
  • To be well, children need to be able to express freely what they feel: joy, enthusiasm, anger, sadness, fear. R
  • To be well, the child needs not to live in fear of being punished when he/she makes mistakes, but rather to know that he/she can say what he/she feels without being judged or criticized. R
  • In order to do well, children need to feel encouraged and supported in what they are doing; they will be all the more motivated and learn better. R
  • In order to do well, children need an adult to guide them with kindness, to show them the way, to give them reference points while leaving them the freedom to make the choices that suit them. R

Biblical excerpts

Educate the child according to the path he must follow! Even when he is old, he will not stray from it. Proverbs 22:6

Does a woman forget the child she is nursing? Does she not have compassion on the son who has come from her womb? Even if she were to forget him, I would never forget you. See! I have engraved you on my hands. Your walls are always before me. Isaiah 49:15-16


With music playing in the background, each person moves forward and places a word in the secret box expressing their contribution to the well-being of the children in their environment. Then, they say out loud a category of children chosen to help and support in prayer and by a concrete action.

Final prayer: Together, hands stretched out towards the cross of Poitiers

O Mary, Mother of all children, we entrust to you their lives. Look, O admirable Mother, at the immense number of children who suffer. They suffer for lack of love, for lack of bread, for lack of everything. We entrust you the poor children for whom the future is uncertain. We pray to you for the rich children for whom the present is difficult. And we beg you for the abused children who are victims of all kinds of inhuman violence. They are all hungry and thirsty for happiness. May those around them know how to show them a little love, so that they may see your Son in them.

Final song: « Woe to the one who hurts a child».

filles de la sagesse


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