Thursday, June 16, 2011

The International Day of the African Child brings hope

35 years ago, a horror occurred in Africa. Thousands of school children took to the streets in Africa to protest the inferior quality of their education and demanded their right to be taught in their own language, reports MNN. Security forces used live rounds to quell the disturbance and killed hundreds of kids. Outrage followed this incident and sparked more protests and violent crackdowns.

As a result, June 16 has been set aside as "The Day of the African Child." Silas Kakui is Kids Alive International program director in Kenya. He explains, "This is in commemoration of that tragic event and to raise awareness of the continuing need for improving the education provided to African children."

The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today. Kakui adds, "This year, the focus is on the plight of the estimated 30-million street children in Africa."

UNICEF defines a "street child" a child who lives in an urban area, without family ties or infrastructure support. Many of these children are forced to develop survival strategies and rely on the street as their residence; they fall prey to the predators, both human and animal.

Part of this year's observance is to move people toward taking steps to protect this vulnerable population as well as figuring out how to provide effective child protection and care. Kakui notes, "We have a lot of street children in our towns. Kids Alive is trying its level best to bring into residential care as many of the children as possible." He adds, "These children are picked from the streets, and they're brought into our residential program and given a second chance in life."

READ more at ChristianTelegraph

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