Our Kite II project in Dar es Salaam

Theme: 30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.

Today 16 June, 2021 we joined the community in Tanzania to commemorate the Day of the African Child to raise awareness of children's rights and child protection education to create an Africa fit for all children. The event was attended by more than 500 people who are community members (children and adults), Mtaa leaders, religion leaders, teachers and celebrities at Mtaa level.

This remarkable day offers an opportunity to commemorate the memory of the thousands of young, brave children who marched in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976 to protest apartheid and to demand equal access to education.  The day was first established by the Organization of the African Unity (OAU) in 1991. It’s now 30 years since this day was first initiated by the OAU! The point of discussion here is: Is Africa and Tanzania in particular counting down numbers of progresses and improvements achieved in the life and children affairs for the period of 30 years of campaign against children violence, or just counting the number of decades of memories and commemorations celebrated since 1991?

The line of discussion should be, ‘how far African has gone to promote and insure all children have equal access to and enjoyment of their basic rights?’ The theme of this year  2021 poses a question to government, agencies, stakeholders and the community to assess to what extent now Africa is fit for all children.

“30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.”

In collaboration with the Local Government Committee on child protection, we invited different child protection stakeholders to evaluate their contribution towards making Africa fit for all children. This committee is one of the 7 government committees formed by WeWorld in 2019, which collaborate with the office of Social Welfare and work in 2 districts, 5 wards and in 10 KITE II project schools in Dar es Salaam. The Committee are established by The Five years National Plan of Action to End Violence against Women and Children (NPA-VAVC 2017/18 – 2021/22.)

Apart from creating them, We World in Tanzania has been working with the office of social welfare to conduct capacity building for 168 members of the committees, providing them with office material, working with them to organize follow-up visits and meetings, and organizing public events like this one.

The report from the Committee read today, during the event, shows that there has been some improvementon on children's rights, including an increased level of education and awareness of children's rights and child protection, identifying and dealing with child violence cases, and community participation in the child protection.

However, the committee reported that in spite of successes achieved, still Africa is not enough fit for all children. After 30 years of campaigns on equality and equity among children, there are still some loopholes that allow child marriage.

Not all children have equal acess to education; gender inequalities, poverty and disabilities are still barriers today, as they were in 1991. Not every child has access to better and affordable health service and thousands of children still die during their childhood. Not every child is protected against violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse.

Despite the successes in the past 30 years, both new and old challenges are still preventing Africa from becoming fit for all children. Finally, everyone was urged to take charge and play their role, and stand together with the government, development agencies, NGOs, stakeholders and the community to make Africa fit for all children. Some proposed efforts include implementin local laws that will respect and comply with international standards for child protection, establish strong institutions such as courts and police forces to ensure children's rights are protected and preserved at any cost.