UNICEF has released a two-minute film to highlight the critical role of parents in children’s early development to mark its ‘Father’s Day Campaign’, which falls on 18 June.
While stars from the world of entertainment and sport including Sachin Tendulkar, David Beckham, the All Blacks, Novak Djokovic, Lewis Hamilton and Hugh Jackman have joined the UNICEF’s new Father’s Day campaign, to celebrate fatherhood, Sri Lankan children below the age of 12 years will share their favourite memories about their fathers in the film.
Over 90 countries, including Sri Lanka, will celebrate the Father’s Day highlighting the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children’s brains.
UNICEF invites families to post photos and videos of what it takes to be a ‘super dad,’ using the hash tag #EarlyMomentsMatter on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
To inspire families across the world to share their ‘super dad’ moments, photos and videos of UNICEF ambassadors and supporters, who have got behind the campaign, will be posted on UNICEF’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and featured on the campaign’s gallery.
The two-minute film, where Sri Lankan children share their favourite memories about their fathers including their favourite games, meals or even a time when they have felt protected, gives an important message, that ‘you don’t need super powers to be a super dad. The film, which can be watched on UNICEF Sri Lanka’s Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, highlights about how nutritious food, love, play and protection in the early years, shape children’s brain development for life.
“When I was a young child, my father gave me the right amount of love, freedom and support to shape who I am today,” said UNICEF Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. “Every kid needs protection, love, good food and play to support growth and development, and it’s up to both parents to provide these.”
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my dad, there’s no question about that. He was involved right from the start and gave me all the love, guidance, decent food, and care that I could have wished for. I’ll remain forever grateful to him for that,” said UNICEF supporter Lewis Hamilton. “I hope this initiative celebrates dads like mine across the world and helps those who are struggling get the support they need to be super dads too.”
“As a father, I’ve seen for myself the impact that every smile, every bit of love, and every positive action has had on my child during these precious early years of life. Being a new parent isn’t easy. There are many challenges that fathers across the world face. This campaign is about supporting and encouraging fathers so they can be the Super Dads their kids desperately need,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Novak Djokovic.
“Good parenting not only enables our children to develop to their full potential, but enables stronger social and economic development of Sri Lanka. Children, who eat nutritious food and experience love, play and protection will not only be happy, they will grow and develop to their full mental, physical and emotional potential. This benefits not just themselves and their families, but Sri Lanka as a whole, supporting the nation’s drive for prosperity and stability. We want to celebrate the vital role of fathers in this, and encourage all parents to use the opportunity of a child’s early years to lay the foundations of a happy and healthy future” said UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Tim Sutton.
Good parenting in early childhood, especially during the first 1,000 days, sparks neural connections in children’s brains, laying the foundation for their future successes. Research suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term.
The ‘Super Dads’ initiative forms part of UNICEF’s #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign, which aims to drive increased understanding of how children’s environments and experiences in early childhood can shape their future health, well-being, ability to learn, and even how much they will earn as adults.