International Day of Families is May 15th – here’s how you can observe

Submitted by: Jazmin Hernandez, Community Health Educator

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The United Nations recognizes the family as the basic “unit” of society, although families all over the world have transformed greatly over the past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global trends and demographic changes.

This celebration provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them. It has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. The 2020 theme focuses on the importance of investing in social policies to protect the most vulnerable individuals and families.

Why is the International Day of Families important?

  • It highlights the importance of family in society. If we have stronger families, we will have stronger schools and stronger communities. 

  • Every family structure is different. Some families consist of children, some do not.  Some consist of one parent, others more than one.  International day of families is about more than just celebrating those who share DNA with you, it’s about celebrating all the people you love.

  • It’s an opportunity to have critical conversations. Many families are dealing with issues like poverty, lack of health care, employment, and child rearing.  And today, organizations like Esperança promote awareness and a better understanding of some of theses challenges at every level of the family; children, adults, and seniors.

How can you observe the International Day of Families?

  • Volunteer with your family, joining in by working together with your family on a project to benefit the community through an organization.

  • Reflect on just what family means to you. Take today to think critically about what family really means to you, and how you can get closer to the people you love.  At the end of the day family isn’t always blood is the people who accept you for who you are and wants you in their family.

  • Support a family-oriented organization like Esperança, who now more than ever, ensure families around the globe have everything they need to live a healthy life.

  • Join the live broadcast from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at 10:30 am EDT

Families are the center of society and provide a stable and supporting home for people of all ages, and following that thought, the symbol for this day fittingly consists of a solid green circle with an image of a heart in a house.

Sources: United Nations,