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Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16th every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the OAU (Organisation of African Unity). It honours those who participated in the 1976 Soweto Uprising. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement in the education provided to African children.

Hard to ignore these enthusiastic young people, STILL marching for their right to quality education
Want some backstory? It’s more than a wee bit depressing! In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education, and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. It didn’t go peacefully. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which was Hector Pieterson, and more than a hundred people were killed in protests during the two weeks that followed, with more than a thousand injured.

Marching to remember our fallen brothers
On June 16th every year, government officials within each participating country, NGOs, international organisations and other stakeholders gather to commemorate the Uprising. The theme this year was “PROTECTING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS”

Exercising the right to dance!
We marched around the busy streets of Masaka with two bands, as well as some government officials, cheering along with River of Life and other local, national, and international organisations. NGOs were thanked by the children for trying their best to protect their rights to things such as education, food, and many others. It’s small steps in the right direction…. may there be many more!

River of Life literally flying the flag for vulnerable children

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