Nestor, 11, lives in La Paz, Bolivia. “I think it is important to listen to children’s voices,” he says. “Boys without love grow to be aggressive. Parents’ love is important for children. It gives them more security and self-confidence.”
Reporting by ChildFund International staff members
Today is Universal Children’s Day, when ChildFund Alliance releases its annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey. Almost 6,000 children in 44 countries (in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia) answered questions about what their fears are, what they’d do if they were their country’s leader and what they consider their rights. Here are some memorable responses from children in countries where ChildFund works. Also, learn more about how sponsorship helps children gain confidence.
Hoan, 12, of Vietnam:
Adults mistreat children who are alone. Because some children do not have anyone who cares for them and protects them, adults mistreat them. I will create a safe environment for children so they can live safely and happily. I will open a free school for orphaned children who didn’t have the opportunity to go to school before.
Teresa with her younger siblings.
Teresa, 12, of Mexico:
There are parents who always tell their kids that they are not capable of doing certain things, and I think that is really wrong because we feel a lot of pressure, and over time, we’ll be afraid of expressing ourselves.
Jeferino, 12, of Timor-Leste:
We are children. We also have the right to play, but most of the adults limit us. When we play, they come to chase us away because they are adults, and we are children. And we can’t do anything.
Agnes, 12, of Zambia:
If I become a leader, I will make sure everyone knows and protects children’s rights.
Agnes gathers maize for her family.
Jonathan, outside his home.
Jonathan, 11, of Mexico:
I think it is really important to listen to children’s opinions because people shouldn’t make decisions for them or force them to do anything.