On the 16th of June, 28 years ago the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU), honored the 1976 Soweto student uprising and established Day of the African Child (DAC). Each year on June 16th a new theme is collaborated and agreed upon for DAC in order to honor that momentous moment in history. In 2018, the theme is “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development”. This theme targets those children who are slipping through the cracks in Africa’s growth and development with goal of implementing more well-rounded and inclusive educational programs to ensure that each of Africa’s children benefit.
Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania works to advocate for girl’s and women’s rights by fighting back against female genital mutilation (FGM) and other gender based violence. An integral part of Hope for Girl’s success is our education-centric approach to building awareness around gender issues. In honor of this year’s Day of the African Child, Hope for Girls partnered with the Serengeti District council as well as other social impact collaborators such as Right to play, Imara foundation, Mugumu police gender desk, Washehabise, Tumaini Jema, District community Development office and DC’s office to celebrate the children of this community. June 16th was a joyous day of celebration for the 3,700 children from Hope for Girls, Majimoto, Nyamakobiti and Busawe Primary schools. Community members from Majimoto, Nyamakobiti, Magatini, Hekwe and Busawe village gathered to hear their children acknowledge and advocate for their rights through conversation, song and poem. Among those in attendance were the District leaders as well as the guest of honor, Mr. Nudin Babu, the Serengeti District Commissioner.
Day for the African Child is a day that holds many sentiments, however, each of us can agree that this day in particular is an important time to focus on what matters most, our children, our future. This day provides a forum for each child’s voice to be heard and give each child the freedom to raise awareness around issues that violate children rights. At Hope for Girls, our goal is to continue partnering with the Serengeti District council as well as other partners from neighboring villages to continue to spread the word of the importance of education and awareness around the impact that gender violence and FGM has on not only the girls and women but on the community as a whole.