Hundreds of children from Matabeleland Diocese of the Anglican Church last Saturday celebrated the International day of the African child in Bulawayo with a march.
The march and the commemorations were organised by the Matabeleland Anglican Sunday school (MASS) and were held at St David’s parish in Nketa 9. The commemorations began with a procession at 9 am in Nketa 7 shopping centre from where parishioners and children representing all the Church’s different branches across Matabeleland region marched to Nketa 9.
“ As Anglicans, we have organised this commemoration to try and make people understand how important a child is and it is our hope that this march will raise awareness on the importance of this day and above all it is a reminder to all of us that we have a duty to nuture and protect children” Fr. Kasongo said. He went on to read Proverbs 13 vs. 1-6 and encouraged children on the importance of obeying their parents for their future to be bright. He also encouraged children to be hard-working and present themselves in a proper manner.
The International Day of the African Child has its roots in apartheid South Africa, when black students in 1976 protested the inferior quality of their education while demanding their right to be taught in their own language. To honour the memory of those killed and injured, this day is commemorated annually on 16 June.
Speaking to Relzim.org, one of the organisers of the event Mr. Tinashe Nyakudanga, who is also the deputy superintendent of MASS, had this to say: “These celebrations started three years ago, and the inaugural celebrations were held at St John’s and then St. Columbus. Tthe third year we were at St Andrew’s and this year we are at St David’s.”
This year’s commemorations run under the theme: “All Together for Urgent Actions in Favour of Street Children.” “We want the children to know their basic rights from a
Christian point of view. For example, the most common right that is violated is sexual abuse. But there are other rights that are violated such as right to education, food and play,” said Rosejoy Munyaradzi Kasaira, one of the Sunday school teachers
The church had invited the police victim friendly unit “Child Line ” and nurses to teach children on their rights and how to approach authorities in the event their rights are violated. Also present was the Junior Senator and Member of Parliament for Emganwini- Nketa constituency.
The commemorations delayed for the weekend since most students will be having no classes.