In a world being torn apart by conflict and crisis, friendship is the glue that holds us all together. Relationships based on support and care can build bridges and foster mutual respect. Friendships can heal religious, ethnic, and class divides, and can provide a solid foundation for peace and future prosperity.

As children are the leaders of tomorrow, it is important that they be taught the value of friendship from a young age and how it can benefit not only them as individuals but communities at large. Friendships have the potential to give children a sense of belonging where otherwise they might feel lonely or isolated.

The meaning of friendship

Having a friend means having someone who accepts and loves you for being yourself. It means having someone to confide in, someone to share moments of happiness with, and someone to console you in times of hardship. For children everywhere, perhaps the most valuable gift they can receive is a true friend. Being a friend means being there for someone through the ups and downs. It means being a shoulder to cry on or someone to share a laugh and a hug with. After all, the only way to have a friend is to be one.

In school and education in general, friendships are key to building cooperation, collaboration, and self-esteem. Children have better attitudes about school, learning, and their own ability when they have their good friends by their side. They can share their struggles whilst supporting each other every step of the way.  

Friendship isn't always easy

Sometimes though, it isn’t easy making friends. Shyness, self-doubt, and anxiety are experienced by both children and adults and can often prevent us from introducing ourselves or making a connection with someone. However, it is important to remember that these fears and insecurities can be overcome. At the end of the day, things are never quite as scary when you have a friend by your side. Friendships between children can also blossom beyond the narrow confines of the classroom. Sometimes they can grow across different countries and cultures.

Global friendships

Children playing basketball

EdUKaid’s school link scheme provides the opportunity for British and Tanzanian schoolchildren to develop their understanding and appreciation of one another’s different cultural and educational practices. This is mutually beneficial to children in both countries as it opens their eyes to the world outside their familiar surroundings. The school link scheme also offers children the chance to find out what they have in common through the exchange of letters and pictures. In every instance, over time their personalised international communication has inspired close bonds of friendship between students. For more information about EdUKaid’s school link scheme, click here.

Friendship is all about connection

Simply put, friendship is all about connection. It is about connecting with other human beings who we trust, love, and value. Friends provide meaning, guidance, and purpose that is essential to our very existence. Life is better with friends. So, on this International Day of Friendship, why not take a moment to appreciate the people in your life, the connections you treasure, and the friends who make it all worthwhile.