Every year on December 10th, Human Rights Day is observed around the world thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, brought forth in 1948 by representatives of diverse backgrounds from all regions of the world. This declaration establishes equal worth and dignity for every person, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, language, political opinion, social origin, birth, or otherwise.
At SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, we work diligently to ensure that the rights described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are upheld for each child and family we serve within our Villages and communities. This month, we are taking a moment to remember this important moment around the globe, and call to attention the ways we are honoring this historical and groundbreaking declaration in our Villages and cities.
What the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Means for Children Worldwide
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is vital for children around the world, and the impact it has had over the last 70 years is undeniable. Youth are leading our world to a better, brighter future towards positive change and equal rights for all, and this declaration provides a powerful platform to do so.
Through the perimeters of the declaration, children are able to stand strong and empowered, knowing they have the universal protection needed to claim their rights as equal humans. Known for being at the forefront of grassroots movements and helping to drive social change, youth everywhere are bringing us closer than we’ve ever been to global equality.
SOS Illinois + Universal Declaration of Human Rights = Incredible Advocates for Youth in Foster Care
Children in foster care need strong, loving advocates that will help them see their worth and teach them that they have the same rights as everyone else, regardless of their background or situation.
Through the programs and services provided at SOS Illinois, the children and families we serve are affirmed in dignity and offered care that honors the perimeters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here are three, important examples:
SOS Illinois Provides Youth in Foster Care the Right to an Education
Ensuring educational success and development for the youth in our care is a top priority at SOS Illinois. Statistics show that on average only 50% of youth in foster care graduate from high school, and only 3% obtain a college degree. However, at SOS Illinois, we celebrate a 100% high school graduation rate, ensuring that the young adults in our care have the skills they need to pursue college, trade programs, or early careers.
Providing youth in foster care the right to an education goes far beyond simply ensuring they make it to school. Our College Bound and Beyond Program includes a care team of Foster Parents, educators, and community members, to ensure each child successfully matriculates to the next grade level.This program even includes post-college support, as we know that ongoing encouragement and resources into adulthood is essential for former youth in care to thrive.
SOS Illinois Provides Youth in Foster Care the Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of the Community
For children in foster care, maintaining their cultural practices and traditions is an incredibly important component of being able to hold on to their identity. During a time of heavy transition for these youth, keeping those ties intact is crucial.
We are so proud to be able to provide the youth in our care the right to participate in the cultural life of the community. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights places great importance on equality no matter your cultural background, and at SOS Illinois, we advocate for this by participating in and hosting cultural activities and events like Black History Month, our annual Posada Navideña, Hispanic Heritage Month, and so much more.
Additionally, we ensure that the religious traditions of the children in our care are observed, regardless of whether or not those religious traditions are shared by their Foster Parent or other children in the home. In doing so, we honor the unique backgrounds, belief systems, and practices held by our youth.
SOS Illinois Provides Youth in Foster Care the Right to Enjoy and Participate in the Arts and Sciences
The youth in foster care at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois love to participate in the arts and sciences, and we are more than happy to provide opportunities for each childto do so. Our STEAM-focused curricula allows the children in our care to grow through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.. Through activities like our STEAM Expo, Harvest Day, Community Gardens, interactive Floral and Jewelry Design workshops, and Culinary Development programs, youth at SOS Illinois are able to thrive through extracurricular exploration and further their interests in STEAM-related studies and careers.
Support Illinois Youth in Foster Care in Honor of Human Rights Day
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created so that every person would know and understand their rights to equality. It is our duty to stand up for our own rights as well as the rights of others. Our dedication to ensuring these rights are upheld for all youth in foster care has shown to create a lasting, positive effect on our youth, their families, and their communities. To learn more about Human Rights Day and how you can help this movement continue to progress, check out this article from the United Nations. To support SOS Illinois’ mission to fulfill the essential rights of each child in our care, consider making a contribution to our programs and services this holiday season.