International Day of Children and Youth 2022

What is the International Day of Children and Youth?

Every year The Salvation Army celebrates the International Day of Children and Youth. After feedback from some territories, it is decided to change the name and date of the International Day of Prayer for Children and Youth.

From 2022 the name that will be used is International Day of Children and Youth. It is planned on the last Sunday of April. In 2022 this is 24 April. This date is not a fixed date and can be celebrated on any other Sunday. However, there is strength in the whole Army praying and celebrating around this subject at the same time.

The resources that are being prepared go beyond the focus of prayer. We also see ideas for local missional initiatives, bible studies and youth participation. This day is no longer just about praying for children and youth, but also to create space for them to participate in every aspect of our mission. This day is about giving children and young people a voice and a stage.

We believe that, although children are developing, they are, at the same time, whole and complete human beings. God calls each individual human being into a real relationship and to a real vocation, not a potential vocation somewhere in the future. This means we see children and young people as full, active members of the Body of Christ, equally important as anyone else.

We celebrate the presence, power and promise of children and youth within the Salvation Army on this special day!

Who created the materials?

Every year a different territory is asked to create the materials. In this way, we as an international family, can enjoy and benefit from the diversity and creativity there is internationally. This year the materials are created by the South America West Territory. For the very first time children and teenagers co-created the materials. On 13 May 2021 they met in an online Zoom meeting and came up with ideas for a theme, Bible verses and activities.

The group expressed their concerns around self-acceptance, the emptiness, and negative emotions that children feel and the search for God in difficult times. And that is how the theme ‘One life, One World, One God’ came about. The South America West Territory took all these ideas into consideration and created various materials like the sermon outline, the weekend planning, and monologues, using Joseph as the main character and backbone for most of the materials.

To make the materials relevant to the different cultures around the world, various colleagues from around the world looked at the materials and added their suggestions. At the same time, the book ‘3 Big Questions that Change Every Teenager’ was published. Two of these questions are connected to the theme: ‘Who am I?’, which is all about identity and ‘What is my contribution to the world’? which is all about purpose. You will see how the questions strengthen the theme.

Where can I find these materials?

You can find all the documents and files at the bottom of this page. We will also send a link to the documents in an email to all national email boxes of The Salvation Army.

What can you do with the materials?

We enjoy and celebrate the diversity within the Salvation Army! So, we understand that your context is unique. We invite you to use the materials as a framework. Feel free to add, adjust and adapt the materials to make them relevant to your culture and context.

The South America West Territory tried to provide you with various materials that can be used in different settings. We give you some examples.

Family Devotionals at home

You could read the monologues as devotionals, followed by talking about some of the questions from the Faith Talks card game, mentioned in Suggested Activities. Read the first monologue on Friday and choose one or two questions from the red cards about ‘One Life’. Read the second monologue on Saturday, followed by one or two questions from the green cards ‘One World’. Read the third monologue on Sunday and choose one or two of the blue cards ‘One God’.

Another option is to read the bible passages from the Message outline and combine that with one of the activities from Suggested Activities.

Online options

If it is not possible to meet in person, try to find ways to meet online. You could prepare bags with materials for one or two of the suggested activities like a little mirror, a sheet of paper and a pencil for the Mirror activity. Or one or two printed cards from the card game. Add something nice to eat and a little note and deliver the bags to your children and youth. In an online meeting you could share parts of the message outline and do the activities together.

You can also ask three children or teens to record the monologues and use it in the online Sunday meeting. Be as creative as possible! And share your own ideas on our Facebook page to inspire others: https://www.facebook.com/TSAyouthandchildren

Theme song

For the very first time we have a theme song! Sebastian Espinoza has written a wonderful song that really reflects the theme and the character of Joseph. You can find the music sheets, lead sheets (both in Spanish and English), recording of the video and backing tracks here:

We challenge you to use this song in whatever way is possible. If you can meet in person, create a choir and start to rehearse this song! If you can only meet online, see if you can rehearse and record this song digitally.

Dance competition

And last but not least: we have a dance competition! We challenge you to use the theme song (One of the recorded versions or perhaps even your own version!) for a choreography.

Send a video of your choreography to youthandchildren@salvationarmy.org before 1 April 2022 and you might be the winner of our competition! More information about the registration and procedure:

What if English is not my first language?

All documents here are in PDF and Word format and will not only be available in English, but also in the following languages:

  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Hindi
  • Swahili
  • Tamil

If your territory is translating the material in another language than mentioned above, we would be pleased if we could receive a copy of this to make available to others. Please email these to youthandchildren@salvationarmy.org

Any questions?

If you have any questions, remarks, or ideas, please send an email to youthandchildren@salvationarmy.org.

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