Ahead of World Children’s Day 2020, the Commissioner for Children Ms Pauline Miceli paid a visit to the Mikiel Anton Vassalli College – Malta School of Art. The Commissioner met with children between 6 and 13 years of age, undertaking courses in drawing and painting organised by the School. Art lessons held during the week leading up the 20th November have focused on the international commemoration and its direct relevance to Maltese children today.
The Commissioner spoke with the children, saying that World Children’s Day is not only a celebration of the rights that every child should enjoy but also a reminder for families and national authorities to stop and see what more still needs to be done. Ms Miceli highlighted the need for more investment in services that ensure no child lives at risk of abuse or poverty, and that all children are to be given the best possible healthcare and educational services, in order to reach their full potential.
Ms Miceli said, “Safeguarding our children is even more important now that we are living in a time of pandemic, where we need to keep safe from the virus while continuing to safeguard the best educational opportunities for every child.”
The Commissioner explained that for the past few years, her Office has also been advocating for the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Maltese Civil Code to further strengthen Malta’s commitment to the wellbeing of children.
“I am happy to say that this has been taken on board and will be in place in the coming months,” said the Commissioner. “The National Children’s Policy launched three years ago shows the way forward, for children’s rights to be effectively ensured. My office is tasked with monitoring this policy and will be publishing its first progress report in the coming days.”
The Centre Administrator of the School, Mr Umberto Buttigieg, explained that the theme issued by the United Nations for this year’s World Children’s Day focuses on investing in the future by investing in children. During lessons, students were encouraged to draw, paint, and create images that explore the questions ‘Who do I want to be when I grow up? What will the world be like when I grow up?’
Students were encouraged to share their aspirations in creative ways, supported by the school’s educators. Mr Buttigieg also explained that at the end of these lessons, the children will transform their drawings into a display of origami butterflies, as a symbol of the meaningful transformations that they dream of achieving in the future. Mr Buttigieg stated that not only will this display symbolise the aspirations of individual children but also the School’s commitment to respect and honour the potential of every child. This is a fundamental value within the Mikiel Anton Vassalli College as a whole.