Commemoration of Day of the African Child PDF Print


June 16 marks the annual Day of the African Child.  A day created in 1991 by the African Union to commemorate the 1976 Soweto massacre of hundreds of school children protesting about failing education standards.

Since then, the day is used as an occasion to focus a global spotlight on the biases African children face, and on the actions that have been and need to be taken to ensure they can understand their rights.

This year the day was marked on the theme “25 Years after the Adoption of the African Children’s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa.”  It was a timely call to end a practice that is devastating the lives of millions of girls across the continent.

Child marriage robs girls of their childhood as they are often socially isolated – cut off from family and friends. It also leads to limited opportunities for education and employment. These girls are married off before they are physically or emotionally mature enough to become wives or mothers.

“I’m a girl and I want to learn but my mother refuses to take me to school; I don’t know the reason. Mother and father are in their room, I should go tell them that I want to go to school,” says one of the characters in a radio drama.

This is an excerpt from one of the radio dramas sponsored by Educate Girls End Poverty project that were aired in the regions of Banadir, Mudug and Galgaduud. The drama focused on the girls’ right to education. In Somalia, radio is a great avenue to promote children rights; people in both rural and urban areas listen to the radio for information and entertainment.

In Galkacyo, CISP organized the ceremony for the Day of the African Child for the first time. This year’s event coincided with the TVET Graduation Ceremony. Children from the neighboring primary school were invited; they performed a play that was in line with the day’s theme.

The key message of the play promoted girls education, as a means to deter child marriage.



By Salad Ghedi, Communication & Accountability Officer, Mogadishu




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