(NC) While many children in our communities could be excused for thinking that people everywhere in the world experience the holiday season in much the same way we do in Canada, adults know this isn’t the case. As we grow up, we learn that not all children will have the economic advantage of experiencing the joy of a holiday gift.

In fact, a recent survey found that many children can’t even access basic human rights such as getting an education, let alone receive a present. The Small Voices, Big Dreams survey is an international poll of more than 6,000 children in 41 countries by ChildFund Alliance, a global network of international development organizations including the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada. It found that 91 per cent of children in Afghanistan say they have been forced to miss school to help their families with work obligations.

Understanding that there is so much need in the world, adults also realize it’s important to teach our children that the holidays are actually more about giving than getting presents.

This holiday, start your children off on a journey where they will want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Christian Children’s Fund of Canada recommends the following to help parents teach their children about the joy of giving:

1. Volunteer at a local charity. Helping others is a rewarding and eye-opening experience. Before you know it, your kids will be seeking out opportunities to take action.

2. Fundraise. Help your children explore a cause they feel passionate about and come up with creative ways to support it. This will also inspire them to become leaders for social good.

3. Support other children around the world. By donating items from Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s gift catalogue, kids learn about the importance of going beyond our borders to help those less fortunate. Learn more at www.ccfcanada.ca.