Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, called to include the Iraqi childhood development initiative he launched in 2012 among the first drafts submitted to the parliament, insisting on the importance of implementing it as soon as possible. His eminence urged the governmental and parliamentarian citizen’s bloc and other allied political blocs to support and re-launch the initiative and thus turn it into a draft resolution so that it can be implemented as soon as possible. He added that the political disputes and narrow calculations could hold but childhood along with the future of generations and the construction of the country cannot wait.
This came in Sayyid Ammar Al Hakim’s speech delivered at the annual childhood festival held at his eminence’s office in Baghdad, on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
Sayyid Ammar Al Hakim assured that “we have an integrated project to build a community and a State. We care about the issues of children and the challenges they face as much as we do about political matters and the decisive challenges we face”, explaining that politics is a medium to serve the community and that childhood is the backbone for building sound, healthy and conscious communities. He also added that guarding and caring for childhood is one of the top priorities since it means guarding the societal future of our country, and the human future of our people, pointing out that one of the pillars of childhood care is motherhood care.
Terrorism, Corruption, Mismanagement, the Deficiency of Programs and Lack of Clear Vision are All Factors that Kill Childhood
His eminence explained that the right to feel safe is the most scared rights of our children, adding that this right is unfortunately no longer available to all the children of our country. He stated that there are hundreds of thousands of children who are displaced with their families and miss their little toys, their textbooks and their beds, and there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who are without shelter and devoured by fear looking towards the unknown. He assured that terrorism is not the only factor that confiscated the right to childhood of Iraqi children; the corruption widespread in all public institutions especially the educational and health ones, the mismanagement, deficiency of programs, the lack of a clear vision and of practical planning, the right to an uninterrupted electrical power are all factors that have gathered to kill childhood in Iraq and confiscate the right to safe living, good education and proper healthcare.
The Children of Iraq…Who Will Treat Their Damaged Spirits and How Will they Know this Country
His eminence wondered how many Iraqi orphan children there are today because of terrorism, random identity-based killing and lack of safety and security, and how will these orphans be raised, what future will they have, who will give them the affection of the deceased father, who will treat their damaged spirits from the traumas they have experience, who will explain to them how come they are displaced in their own country and why they are without any shelter or home or water or power, how these children will know this country and what kind of relationship will they have with it.
Mass Media Criticized for their Poor Presence at the Childhood Festival
His Eminence reproached the mass media which muster and compete to cover some political meeting or a meeting where voices rise and tendencies differ, but disappear or are poorly present to cover the childhood festival, saying that the most sacred duty of the media is to build and educate societies, and there is nothing more important or better than to build the childhood the development of which leads to the development of societies and thus of nations.
Childhood Development Initiative of the Martyr of the Niche Movement
His Eminence recalled the childhood development initiative he has launched, saying, "we, the Martyr of the Niche Movement, strongly believe that childhood is a future program that requires long-term strategic planning and the necessary financial resources to support the plans and projects, and to establish the necessary infrastructure to create diverse and integral institutions that care for the children and contribute to their development". According to him, the initiative consisted of creating care centers for children with cancer, autism, and rehabilitation centers for the disabled children, setting up social protection networks for children, protecting the children with no providers or shelters, taking adequate judicial procedures in dealing with the juveniles, developing early education programs, sponsoring the special and quality skills of the children and providing a comprehensive network of nurseries, kindergartens and children health care centers. The initiative also claims that the right to education be guaranteed for every child and that such right be secured through the right of the families to choose a governmental or civil education service.
Role of the Families, the Ministry of Education and the Society in Upbringing the Children and Ensuring their Correct Formation
On the other hand, his Eminence pointed out to the importance and the role of the family and of its cohesion and the harmony between the parents in raising their children properly. In his opinion, the family is mainly responsible for the correct education of their children and for their compliance with the good customs and traditions, and the good manners and upright behavior, and the family has the duty and the commitment to deal properly with the children, control their behavior, give good advices and build their self-confidence and the community's confidence in them and ensure they are well formed. Moreover, his Eminence called on the Ministry of Education and its educative staff to assume the other important part of the responsibility in this regard, noting that the intensive and continuous coordination between the parents and the school helps build a new self-confident generation that complies with the laws, acts properly and deals correctly with the others, which will make a big difference in how to treat many of the social problems and crises of today. He also reminded of the role of the society and its different institutions in upbringing the children and creating the suitable environment for a good education regarding every detail.
The festival included many activities that reflected the suffering of the Iraqi children and their hope for a safe life where they can achieve their scientific and cultural ambitions like the other children all over the world. The festival was attended by a number of officials and civil society organizations related to childhood.