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2024 April Heartbeat

child with clown at children's day festival in Mexico

From the Heart

Día del Niño, or Children’s Day, is celebrated annually in Mexico on April 30. This joyous celebration honors children and their importance in society – reflecting Mexico’s values, traditions, and commitment to the well-being of its youngest citizens.

One hundred years ago, the World Conference on Well-Being of Children declared June 1 International Children’s Day. Many countries celebrate Children’s Day on June 1, including China. You may remember some of the Children’s Day activities at Shepherd’s Field, a remarkable day of joy. The celebration always included delicious food and ended with a spectacular water fight.

Mexico chose April 30 as their annual Children’s Day to honor the memory of President Carranza, a strong advocate for children’s rights. In Mexican culture, children are the future of the nation, and the holiday is a reminder to cherish, nurture, and support them as they grow. Children are full of curiosity and potential, truly the hope for the future.

Local Children’s Day Festivals Build Trust

Local Festivals bring families and communities together, and the Philip Hayden Foundation will be co-hosting celebrations with Red de Ciudadanos de Merída again this year. Parents, children, and grandparents join the fun, strengthening family bonds and a sense of unity in a community. The Children’s Day celebration includes food, music, cultural activities, and entertainment for the entire family. Celebrating the day with families builds trust and provides later access to protein-rich food, health screening, and healthy living education.

two young Mexican girls celebrate at a Children's Day festival

The cultural traditions in the Children’s Day Festivals instill a sense of pride and belonging among children and their families. It’s also a moment to consider the challenges facing children in Mexico. Issues like extreme poverty, access to medical care, and access to education can seem overwhelming.

Philip Hayden Foundation addresses these needs with your donations. Children’s Day is a reminder that nurturing and protecting children is vitally important. It’s more than a one-day celebration. It reflects values, traditions, and hope for the future. You can help vulnerable children in Merída thrive and succeed.

Lifeline of Hope for Parents of Kids with Disabilities

“I have to take care of my son’s studies and therapies and also my mother at the same time. I feel like I don’t even have time to sleep anymore. I wake up every day and am busy with all kinds of things.”

Parent of a Child with Disabilities in China

Coping with a child’s disability can bring a roller-coaster of emotions, including grief, anger, fear, and uncertainty. Unfortunately, parents in China also feel isolated and lonely. In China, it is still somewhat uncommon to make the difficult choice to raise a child with disabilities. Often, no support systems are in place to help a parent navigate their child’s complex medical or educational decisions.

family of child with a disability in China who need access to counseling

However, many parents in China are forging the path alone. They are determined to do their best for their child – often sacrificing a familiar, easier life. One mother attends school daily to read all the lessons to her blind child, so her daughter can learn.

With your donations, the Philip Hayden Foundation plans to help these dedicated parents by providing access to counseling. Hope Station’s Family Strengthening Program provides therapy and support to families raising children with disabilities, but the families need more.

Access to mental health counseling provides:

  • Develop effective parenting strategies
  • Support for making complex medical and educational decisions
  • Safe space for processing big feelings like grief, anger, loneliness, and fear
  • Build a support network with other parents, fostering a sense of community Develop long-term well-being of the entire family

Here’s the heartfelt response of one mother,

“Talking to the other parents at Hope Station, I really realize that everyone has hardships, and encounter so many challenges like us. I also got a lot of encouragement from them. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like life was all that difficult anymore!”

Would you consider partnering with a family to provide access to mental health counseling, so they can have a support network, too? Your donation will provide a lifeline of hope to a family raising a child with a disability.

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