International Day of Families 2017
NUKU’ALOFA-May 12: 5:23pm(Nuku’alofa Times): May 15th is annually recognized internationally as the International Family Day (IFD). The IFD falls within the month which is deemed in Tonga as the month of families with the first three consecutive Sundays celebrating Children’s Day (White Sunday), Mothers Day, and Fathers Day.
The national theme for this year’s Family Day is, “The family is the basis and most important unit of the society; the children of today are the future of Tonga (Ko e famili Ko e makatu’unga mahu’inga ia ‘a hotau sosaieti; ko e fanau ‘o e ‘aho ni ko e kaha’u ia ‘o Tonga).
The theme is taken directly from the first guiding principles outlined in Tonga’s Revised National Policy on Gender and Development (RNPGAD) which is a reflection of the kind of society Tonga maintains.
The theme highlights the need for families to both address issues pertaining to the children or youths and commit valuable time to them. This year (2017), the International Family Day is organized by the IFDPC (International Family Day Planning Committee) which consists of representatives from government line ministries, schools, media agencies.
The Women’s Affairs Division (of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) is secretariat in the committee and together the members have coordinated a series of media campaigns to highlight the theme “The family is the basis and most important unit of the society; the children of today are the future of Tonga (Ko e famili Ko e makatu’unga mahu’inga ia ‘a hotau sosaieti; ko e fanau ‘o e ‘aho ni ko e kaha’u ia ‘o Tonga).
A number of non-government organizations are organizing varying events to mark the IFD. The Tonga National Centre for Women and Children (TNCWC) will commemorate the day on Monday 15th of May with a display of colourful hand painted tablemats at the Digicel Square at 12:00pm. The tablemats are designed by secondary school students from Liahona High School, ‘Ahopanilolo Technical College and the Women and Children Crisis Centre Safe House.
The theme of the tablemats are “No Violence, Happy Healthy Families”. The Australian High Commissioner will present awards to the students of the participating schools.
The public are also invited to view the students work at the Digicel Square at 12:00pm, where barbequed sausages will be sold and music and songs from the Mango Tree Centre will play.
The TNCWC program is funded by the Australian Government and the media campaigns organized by the IFD Planning Committee is funded by the UN Women.
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