Love Me, Teach Me Campaign
The purpose of the Love Me, Teach Me campaign is to promote the needs and rights of children everywhere. The campaign is built upon four cornerstones, each contributing to the well-being of children and related intimately to children’s needs and rights. These four cornerstones are See Me, Hear Me, Love Me, and Teach Me, and they apply to all children, worldwide. The campaign is called Love Me, Teach Me since these two cornerstones contribute most significantly to a child’s overall development and well-being.
We hope that you will use these four cornerstones as a framework to coordinate your own efforts to secure the rights of children in your local communities and beyond.
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Cornerstone 1. See Me: The Child’s Right to Identity
The Child’s Voice: Do you see me? Do you know who I am? Do you know my name?
Every child has the right to be seen, the right to have a name, and the right to a nationality—that is, the right to an identity. In some nations, this right may involve ensuring that children are named and registered at birth. This officially recorded document is crucial for establishing a child’s nationality. In countries where birth registration is a standard and routine practice, fulfilling the entire scope of rights associated with identity may involve even deeper levels of commitment. All sectors—social, political, and economic—must work to ensure that all children are visible members of their society, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, ability, family status, or national origin.
Children should be visible members of their community.
Cornerstone 2. Hear Me: The Child’s Right to Participation
The Child’s Voice: Do you hear me? Do you include me? Do you listen to me when I share with you my ideas and opinions? Do you think about me when you make decisions?
Participation, while undertaken individually, is a group process. It is more than forming and expressing an idea—it can involve exchanging knowledge and services, fostering and reinforcing relationships, and promoting stewardship and civic responsibility. Participation is how children not only learn about the world around them, but also experience their environment. When children are prevented from participating, be it because of exclusion from a group activity, lack of access to medical care, or disregard for their opinions, especially in regard to matters that directly affect them, they are being sent a message that their needs and thoughts are not important. If children’s right to participate is denied, it is difficult to ensure that their other rights will be protected and promoted.
Children should be provided opportunities to participate, whether voicing their opinions and ideas or being provided access to necessary services.
Cornerstone 3. Love Me: The Child’s Right to Security, Stability, and Protection
The Child’s Voice: Do you love me? Do you know that I need to be cared for? Do you know that I need to feel secure?
Parents are the primary caregivers of their children. They undertake a range of responsibilities and duties in order to foster and facilitate their children’s overall physical, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual development. The primary task of a parent, however, is to love and care for their child—to provide them with a nurturing family environment where they are treated with dignity and respect and are free from abuse and neglect. For various reasons, some children cannot live with their parents. In such cases, children should be placed in the care and custody of extended family members or foster families who can provide them with a loving home in which they can thrive. Many sectors of societies can make positive contributions to the security and protection of children. Loving children can be the directly personal experience of loving a child we are related to, or a more distanced experience in which we take children into consideration when we decide how to conduct our business—from the designing of commercial advertising campaigns to the development of public policy.
Children should be loved. Love can be expressed to children in multiple ways from many sectors of society.
Cornerstone 4. Teach Me: The Child’s Right to Education
The Child’s Voice: Do you know that I like to learn? Do you know that I like to explore and experiment?
Education is fundamental to a child’s development. However, simply having access to schools, teachers, and educational materials does not guarantee that children will receive a quality education. Efforts must be made by parents, other caregivers, and community members to ensure that education promotes the development of the whole child from birth throughout adolescence. Education should be culturally appropriate, promote dignity and respect for the child, encourage exploration, and be designed to support all children, regardless of their level of ability. Education should help each child to reach their full potential. And learning extends outside of the classroom walls. In their communities, children should have access to books, magazines, newspapers, television and radio programs, and other media sources that are age-appropriate and encourage rich and meaningful learning experiences.
Children should have access to quality educational materials and experiences that engage their full potential.