Actions to Honor African Child
Like every year on 16 June, the African Union and its Member States observe the Day of the African Child (DAC) as a commemoration of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, where students who marched in protest against apartheid-inspired education, were brutally murdered. To celebrate the children of Africa and calls for serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges they face in Africa, the DAC 2020 theme’s will reflect on ‘Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa’ as adopted by the African Union Executive Council, during its 34th Ordinary Session, held on 07 – 08 February 2019.
Children of Africa aren’t so lucky to receive what they deserved to reach their full potential from the countries they shelter; all across the continent children are dying from preventable causes, missing out on education due to poverty or gender, suffering from violence, exploitation, and neglect, and are vulnerable in times of crisis. In every corner of the almost 1.4 billion continent, children need a strong voice to stand up for themselves, work on their behalf, and make their lives better.
Ethiopia’s Call to Honor African Children
Ethiopia is one of the African Countries where its Children Observe this Special and host of the African Union in 1991, the initiated celebrating this day to honour those who were killed during the Soweto Uprising.
The minister of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs ( MoWCYA); Filsan Abdullahi who wrote a post on her Facebook Profile said " By celebrating this day, we recall the efforts and struggles that have been exerted to ensure, we recognise the rights and hear the voices of African children”
As we all know, education is the entry point to a better future for our children. It is an investment with both short and long-term returns. She added
We are far from where we need to be, when it comes to investing in the education of our children, of the 57 million primary school-age children currently out of school around the world, over half are from sub-Saharan Africa.
The Day of the African Child is an opportunity to raise awareness for the ongoing need to create a better environment and improve the education, health, and overall wellbeing of children living across Africa.
To create a better future for Ethiopian and African children as a whole, first: we must recognize, acknowledge and practice both, in spirit and letter, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC, in our respective countries. Said minister Filsan.
On top of Minister Filsan’s call, children in Africa especially in Sub-Saharan African countries; apart from the 57 million children who are out of school; even those who got the opportunity to attend schools, still take the highest number of 617 million children and adolescents who aren’t proficient in reading and mathematics whether they attend a school or not.
This shows a double problem that exists in this region; access and quality issues on education, as I said before in my article on “Africa’s Learning Crises: What Needs to Honor?”
As an Independent award-winning Campaigner and Child Right Advocate from Education Angle; On June 16, 2020, I would have loved to write a very insightful piece about “what is like to be a child in Africa from Policy to service provision”; but due to due to time constraints I couldn’t able but promise to share sometime Insha Allah; before that this a brief piece that intended to show our children that we are aware of their days and opt to make them proud.
May we stand up for African Children and add our voices and actions from East to West, South, and North of Africa in order to position them where they can see their FULL FUTURE from where they are today? The answer is yours.