Luwero District commemorated the Day of the African Child on Thursday June 20th under the theme: Humanitarian Action: Child Rights First. Reach Out was present to join in the celebrations of the day which is officially celebrated on 16th of the same month. The day pays homage to the thousands of black school children in Soweto, South Africa, who on 16th June 1976 took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of the education they were subjected to, demanding the right to be taught in their own local languages. It was also during the same protest that many of the children lost their lives.
It was also in this same spirit that the Organization of the African Union (OAU), now African Union (AU) marked June 16th as a day to honor the young heroes that lost their lives and hold the day to draw attention to the plight of African children who suffer a lot of hardship not just in education but in their day to day upbringing.
In Luweero, the day began with a march led by pupils and students from Luweero District. It was then followed by performances by the same students who entertained the guests with drama and poetry on the plight of children in Africa. There were also exhibitions of handicrafts and other products by the locals in the communities, some of whom included communities supported by Reach Out/SOCY Dreams Project in making of soap, candles as well as training in hairdressing.
Guest Speaker after Guest Speaker commended the different roles played by the Civil Society Organizations, police and teachers to see that the children are safe in the communities. In her speech the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), who was the chief guest at the ceremony urged the leaders to play their part in protecting the children; “the children are the leaders of tomorrow, therefore, need to be listened to. Their ideas count especially when it comes to drafting policies that concern them,” she said.
The same plight was also raised by the different speakers who promised to act on the petitions raised by the children some of which included; offering sanitary pads for girls, end to early child pregnancies and marriage, issue of free birth certifications, to mention a few.
The day’s activities ended with a handover of certificates to the different civil society organizations serving in the district and ReachOut was one of the organizations recognized for its efforts in supporting vulnerable children.