The International Day of Happiness is a United Nations observed day which aims to promote the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal. It is held annually on the 20th March and has been celebrated worldwide since its inception in 2013. The day has helped states and development agencies recognise that ‘progress’ should not be solely focused around economic factors but also look at the increasing importance of human happiness and wellbeing as a universal method of assessing development.
The UN recognises that to achieve global happiness, economic development must come hand in hand with social and environmental security. In 2015 the UN began to look at ways of achieving this through their 17 Sustainable Development Goals that sought to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet, with many aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals leading to global wellbeing and happiness.
This year the UN hopes that the International Day of Happiness can be celebrated by more people of all ages than ever before, reaching every classroom, business and government. The hope is to spread awareness of the importance of global happiness as a measure of progress. This is of particular significance when focusing on public policies that can have a direct impact on the lives of many people.
The work done by COCO aims to provide sustainable sources of quality education to children living in poor and marginalised communities. While the quality of the education is how COCO's schools may be assessed, it is also important to note the happiness shown by pupils going to school and receiving an education they otherwise would not have. This is reflected in the many smiles seen on the faces of pupils at the schools COCO works within. So this year, help celebrate The International Day of Happiness with COCO by spreading joy wherever you can.