The International Day of Families: Building Identity and Belonging


Today marks the International Day of Families.

Created in 1993 by the UN General Assembly, the day highlights the importance of family in a wealth of areas, including child self-identity, integration and support.

The FMO recognises the importance of families here in Britain. We work on a range of projects covering education, housing, and youth and social welfare in order to meet the needs of the Muslim community. Often, this work involves the entire family. Strong family bonds ensure that the next generation grow up to be stable and happy adults who feel proud of their identity as well as a sense of belonging.

The UN cites the International Day of Families as an important element in their development goals, as it works towards ending poverty and hunger, while promoting education, gender equality and wellbeing for all ages.

Poverty and a lack of education can have an extremely detrimental effect on families. For instance, young people from all backgrounds who feel disenfranchised are more vulnerable to radicalisation. The family structure can be hugely important when it comes to keeping our children safe from the threat of all forms of terrorism and extremists who use social media to target them. It is often mothers who notice changes in behaviour, meaning they can be on the front line of defence against radicalisation.

Ensuring our children form a strong sense of identity is of utmost importance to their wellbeing. The family is the most effective environment to explore issues of British-Muslim identity and highlight the wonderful freedoms we enjoy in a multicultural, multi-faith UK.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Families is ‘Families, Education and Wellbeing’. Part of the theme is to promote lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth, as education is vital to the development and prospects for our children. Parents need to play a crucial role in instilling a good work ethic, encouraging children to think critically about the media that they access (which can often be fake news or propaganda), while emphasising healthy values.

We welcome the International Day of Families as an important date in our calendar. It’s a day to care for all members of the family and come together to promote happiness and prosperity.

We wish you and your family a happy International Day of Families.

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