Recently one of our Human Resources team members had the privilege and pleasure to participate in Brazil's Children's Day, or Dia das Crianças.
In Brazil, Children's Day is celebrated annually on October 12th. It's a national holiday that honors children, and where children receive gifts from their parents. It also coincides with Brazil's holiday of its Patron Saint, Our Lady of Aparecida. Consequently, Children's Day in Brazil is often referred to as "Our Lady of Aparecida's Day."
In 1923, Brazil's capital (Rio de Janeiro, at the time), hosted the South American Congress for Children. The city established a holiday in remembrance of the event, becoming the first country to officially celebrate a Children's Day.
Then in the 1960s, toy manufacturers and other children's product manufacturers collaborated to highlight Children's Day even further, emphasizing the giving of toys as part of how the day observes children and is celebrated in Brazil.
The tradition caught on in other parts of the world, and today Children's Day is celebrated in numerous countries on various dates. The United Nations' Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)'s official Children's Day is November 20th.
UNICEF's statement on Children's Day summarizes the holiday's intent quite powerfully: "Children have their rights denied every single day. We want to build a world where every child is in school and learning, safe from harm and able to fulfill their potential."
While Children's Day has certainly grown in its global and political significance, it has always been a culturally important holiday for the nation of Brazil. It demonstrates to children that they are valued and appreciated, and reminds Brazilians that children are critical to community.
Often schools and colleges close for a day or even an entire week, allowing students to relax and even vacation with their friends or family. In this regard, it is somewhat similar to the United States' "spring break." Other schools host special programming, with food, music, and Brazilian cultural lessons and activities.
Between its coincidence with Our Lady of Aparedica's Day, the closing of schools and businesses, the tradition of gift-giving, and other general festivities, Dia das Crianças rivals Christmas in significance.
For retailers, it's the best day of sales - a Brazilian Black Friday - with a focus on children's toys. For relief workers, it's a time to organize support for underprivileged children, ensuring that all children are celebrated.
This year, Object Edge supported and celebrated children in Vila Mariante, a disadvantaged neighborhood in Porto Alegre.
We partnered with Liberdade Humanitaria, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Liberdade Humanitaria combats poverty, homelessness, and crime in areas of the city of Porto Alegre. They also contribute operational help in emergency situations in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
In addition to these efforts, Liberdade Humanitaria advocates for minorities and encourages inclusivity. They also fight corruption and social inequality in their community. Finally, they encourage education for children, youth, adults, and the elderly.
Through our partnership with Liberdade Humanitaria, the Brazilian branch of Object Edge ran a Children's Day Campaign. We collected monetary donations as well as donations of toys. On October 12th, Liberdade Humanitaria and our HR team member, Vivian, delivered toys to the children of Villa Mariante.
It was a lively celebration, with dozens of children receiving gifts thanks to the generosity of Object Edge team members.
We are incredibly proud of our Children's Day Campaign and are so grateful to all who donated toys, money, and time to provide children in Villa Mariante with a happy, meaningful celebration.