‘Our children need us to guide them, support and nurture them into responsible citizens’

 “Dear Children, let your special day start with the blessings of our Heavenly Father so that you remain safe under his protection to be happy and spend an enjoyable day.

“Once again, because of the Covid-19 pandemic your day will be different, with the absence of festivities at your schools. This is an opportunity for you to reflect on your circumstances; what you want to achieve and how you will go about achieving them. It is also an opportunity for you to realise that things are changing worldwide and that decisions that adults made on our behalf may not make you happy (eg. Not going to school) but they are made with the best intention of you being protected. Therefore, as children, you need to protect yourselves from harm as well.

“As we continue to recover and take steps to mitigate the effects of the Covid pandemic, the Children’s Day reflection should focus on the spirit of caring for one another, togetherness, solidarity and compassion. This reflection calls for you to be thankful for being the unique child of God, thankful for your parents, siblings, friends, teachers and many others who care for you.

“Your reflection today should be on how you can reach out to be a better friend to another fellow student who may be feeling lonely; a colleague who may be dealing with personal issues that may lead him/her to make a bad decision; another fellow student who may be socially deprived of certain basic items or ensuring that your younger siblings are safe amongst so many others.

“Dear children, let the demonstration of love, support and solidarity amongst yourselves be a testimony of your special day so it will be well spent. Always be reminded that it is the simple gesture of giving, sharing and compassion that you are bestowed with blessings.

“Concentrate on your studies, be it at the school or remotely and focus on what you want to achieve. Be always mindful of the various distractions that may influence you not to persevere with studies. Make good use of your time and whilst you balance recreational activities with your studies, always seek guidance from your parents and trusted adults.

“Parents once again, be conscious of your roles and responsibilities. Be role models. Do not just talk about and against abuse but do not condone or perpetrate abuse against children. Our children need us to guide them, support and nurture them into responsible citizens. Help them appreciate that responsibility is not a burden but a strong virtue, which will pave the way to achieving success. Include them in decisions that have to be made for the wellbeing of the family. They need to be loved and feel loved so that they can be loving and caring individuals.

“Let today be the day where, families, caregivers, teachers and professionals join with the children to make deeper reflection on how in our own individual way we can be more sensitive to a child’s need and to make this day special for them.

“I wish all children in Seychelles a blessed and happy day.”