Celebrating 30 Years of International Family Day: A Call for Global Unity in Strengthening Families

By Safiya Hamza Jibrin

Since its inception three decades ago, May 15th has marked a special occasion on the global calendar, “International Family Day”. This commemoration, rooted in the profound understanding of families as the bedrock of society, traces its origins back to 1994, when the United Nations designated this day to raise awareness about family issues and highlight their significance in social development.

History of International Family Day:

In 1994, against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world, the United Nations recognized the need to underscore the importance of families in shaping the fabric of society. International Family Day was established as a platform for advocacy, education, and action, aimed at supporting families worldwide. Since then, it has evolved into a momentous occasion, uniting nations in a shared commitment to strengthening family units and promoting their well-being.

The Theme: “Families and Climate Change”:

The theme for International Family Day 2024, “Families and Climate Change,” shines a spotlight on the critical intersection of family well-being and environmental sustainability. Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to families worldwide, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and threatening livelihoods.

The Situation in Africa, Particularly Nigeria:

In Africa, families confront a myriad of challenges, exacerbated by poverty, social instability, and environmental degradation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Nigeria, where close to 90 million people live in ultra-poverty, representing a staggering 43% of the population. Families in Nigeria, like many across the continent, bear the heavy burden of providing basic necessities such as healthcare, education, and shelter, often at the expense of nurturing positive values in their children.

The Need to Empower the Family Unit:

Amidst these challenges lies a glaring imperative – the urgent need to empower the family unit. Families in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, are not only the first line of defense against poverty and adversity but also the primary agents of socialization and values transmission. By investing in family support programs, education, and healthcare, nations can unlock the potential of their citizens and pave the way for sustainable development. It is our collective endeavor to build a world that nurtures and empowers our precious children. However, creating a world fit for our children cannot rest solely on the shoulders of families. It requires the deliberate commitment of communities, states, and the international community to strengthen families and establish robust Social Protection Systems tailored to the needs of African societies.


  1. Community Engagement: Foster community-driven initiatives that promote family cohesion, resilience, and mutual support. Encourage the participation of local leaders, organizations, and grassroots movements in addressing family-related challenges.
  2. Policy Support: Advocate for the development and implementation of family-friendly policies at the national and regional levels. These policies should prioritize access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and social support, while also addressing issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  3. Capacity Building: Invest in capacity-building programs for families, providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to navigate challenges effectively. Offer training in areas such as parenting, financial management, and conflict resolution to strengthen family dynamics.
  4. International Collaboration: Foster partnerships with international organizations and donor agencies to support initiatives aimed at strengthening African families. Leverage global expertise and resources to address systemic challenges and promote sustainable development.

Call to Action:

As we reflect on the importance of family strengthening on this International Family Day, let us heed the following call to action:

  • Governments: Prioritize family well-being in national agendas and allocate resources for family support programs and services.
  • Civil Society: Mobilize communities and advocate for policies that promote family resilience, social inclusion, and economic empowerment.
  • Individuals: Engage in acts of kindness and support towards families in need within your communities. Volunteer your time and resources to initiatives that empower and uplift families.


In conclusion, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of International Family Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to strengthening families as the cornerstone of society. By embracing a collaborative approach and implementing targeted interventions, we can create a world where every family thrives, every child flourishes, and every community prospers. Together, let us build a future where families are empowered to overcome challenges and contribute to a more just, equitable, and sustainable world for generations to come.

Sources: https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-of-families#:~:text=2024%20Theme%3A%20Families%20and%20Climate%20Change&text=Without%20drastic%20action%2C%20adaptation%20to,meaningful%20and%20effective%20climate%20action.

https://www.ndtvprofit.com/trending/international-day-of-families-2024-date-theme-significance-and-more https://taiwoakinlamiblog.com/2023/05/15/the-international-day-of-families-a-call-for-family-strengthening-in-africa-through-social-protection/

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