Somaliland: Nation Commemorates African Child Day

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(L)SL children at the commemorations & (R)  Hector Peterson who was shot dead in Soweto in 1976By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The government of Somaliland is committed to ensuring that children rights are availed.

This was said by the Director General ministry of Labour and Social affairs during commemorations to mark International Day of the African Child held at the Beerta (freedom) garden in Hargeisa. The DG who represented his minister revealed that the government has made major strides in availing children in the country their rights and attendant benefits.

The commemorations which were attended by a large number citizens from all walks of life also had in attendance a number of high ranking officials that included the minister of justice Hon Hussein Ahmed Aideed, Youth, Sports & Culture Minister Hon Saeed Ali Raygal among and representatives of various donor agencies involved in child interventions.

According to the minister of Youth, Sports & Culture Hon Saeed Ali Raygal, the government in its pursuit of ensuring proper child welfare has made primary school education free, constructed new schools in the very remote areas as well as availed street children areas where they feed and sleep.

He thanked SOS village for partnering the ministry of Labour and social affairs in the street child, deaf and disabled children projects which have uplifted the hopes and living standards of Somaliland children.

The minister of justice Hon Hussein Ahmed Aideed who represented the president, extended greetings to all children in African and more specifically those in Somaliland. He said that the government of president Silanyo that has achieved much as pertains child welfare is determined to see that more is done since children are the future of the country.

This year’s International Day of the African Child which was themed “The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill” was also commemorated in several major city with pomp and glory. Participants at the various venues were entertained with songs and dances by the Police band, acrobats and artists from the department of culture.

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

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. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which being Hector Peterson. More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured.

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