Monday in Kenya we celebrated “The Day of the African Child” which is a holiday that honors the South African children who were killed in 1976 during the Soweto Uprising. The black school children were protesting apartheid, demanding equality in education, and fighting for the right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of children were shot and killed while more than a thousand were injured during protests. The theme for this year was: “A child-friendly, quality, free, and compulsory education for all children in Africa.”
Annually, this day provides an opportunity for the stakeholders on children rights, including government organizations and non-government organizations to come together to deliberate on issues affecting children and how to best address them.
The Kiambu County Children’s Department organized a walk through Kiambu town, which brought awareness about this day and children-related issues. Various children’s homes and schools in the surrounding area participated. Afterwards, each institution had presentations aimed at informing people on issues that are affecting Kenyan children. This included songs, poems, dances, and speeches – all presented by children. Ellie, Wangui, and Annie took Lily and Alice to represent Neema House. They participated in the walk and enjoyed all the children’s presentations. This was a great opportunity for Neema House to interact with and learn from other institutions that are serving children in Kiambu.
In Molo, children gathered at House of Hope 1 to sing songs and perform dances to commemorate the day and to remember the South African children.