Celebrating the Day of the African Child

Marking the Day of the African Child, every year on 16 June events are organised across the African continent to promote children’s rights. In the whole East African region, Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ partners are organising and participating in mostly local Day of the African Child events. Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ partner Diocese of Lodwar is one of the civil society organisations involved in the national commemoration in Kenya.

Kenyan national event hosted in Turkana

The national commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Kenya will be held in Lodwar, Turkana county. The Turkana Child and Gender Protection Network, originally started by the Diocese of Lodwar as a result of the child protection programme supported by Terre des Hommes Netherlands , has been leading the planning for this national event. Ahead of the actual day, there has been media attention on radio and TV stations, coupled with a road show in Lodwar and a session of the children’s parliament. After these warming-up activities, the Day of the African Child culminates in a procession, children’s presentations (songs, poems, skits and drama) and speeches from the Children’s Government dignitaries.

Student protest in Soweto (1976)

The Day of the African Child is commemorated annually on 16 June, honouring the memory of the students who were massacred in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976 for protesting against education injustice and inequality in the apartheid regime. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, a group of highly qualified individuals who are mandated to monitor and report on the fulfillment of child rights in Africa under the auspices of the African Union, is the custodian of this commemoration. The theme for 2016 is ‘Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights’, to highlight the impact conflicts and crises have on children.

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