Ah, childhood – that era that saw you chomping on ice cream van sweets, fetchingly decked in flowery dungarees (thank you 1995), spending your weekends running gaily about in various parks and falling off playground roundabouts after spinning just that little bit too fast.
Twee it may be – but you know that we can’t get enough of the nostalgia that surrounds our childhoods. Especially when grainy photographs showing our gap-toothed selves are uploaded to Instagram for the world to reminisce over every Throwback Thursday.
Of course, however much we love a good photographic childhood nostalgia session, we have to remember that not all kids will have the joy of looking back on their early years with quite such rose-tinted specs.
Case in point: the street children of Uganda, where a third of the population live below the poverty line and those living in slums are at risk of multiple forms of abuse – from mental to physical to sexual.
It is with these children in mind that Hope for Children (HOPE) has launched its #ChildhoodMemories Campaign, designed to raise awareness of (and hopefully get officially recognised by the UN) the International Day for Street Children - which happens to be this Saturday, 12th April.
Launched this week, the campaign is askingyou to upload a funny or embarrassing picture to Facebook and twitter with the hashtag #ChildhoodMemories, tagging @HopeforChildren,donating £3 to the cause by texting HOPE to 70004, and then nominating three friends to do the same thing.
Hope for Children says: “Their childhood memories are almost non-existent due to the need for them to grow up far quicker than they should. Children in Kisenye – one of the most dangerous slums in Uganda – are some of the most marginalised in the world; they are often viewed as a nuisance or threat by adults around them and are subject to a variety of physical and sexual abuse.
“Solvent abuse, mainly aviation fuel and glue, is a large problem amongst the street children in this slum area. This is no childhood; these are children having to grow up much quicker than they should have too. Many of these children will lack any kind of positive #ChildhoodMemories.”
Hope for Children is calling on university RAG societies to get involved and spread the word. As well as raising awareness, the £3s donated from the campaigns will go towards projects helping street children in East Africa – so this is a practical campaign rather than simply an awareness one.
There’s also a petition to compel the UN to officially recognise the International Day for Street Children – you’ll be sent a link to sign it along with the confirmation of your text donation.
So come on, get involved – upload a picture, marvel at your tiny self, donate three quid (less than the price of a sandwich), nominate a friend or three and raise awareness of children who aren’t lucky enough to be collecting these types of memories.
HOPE’s Facebook page is www.facebook.com/hope4c
Follow them on twitter @HopeforChildren