Celebrating the African Child

25 06 2011

By Hussain Lalani

Hi Everyone, thanks for following along! Sorry for the delay in posting; it’s been rough accessing the internet for the last week or so. Enjoy!

06/16/11

June 16 is an important day for all Africans and commemorates a historic event that took place in South Africa just a few decades ago: African children, who were originally arrested during the Apartheid movement, were released from captivity. For this reason, the Day of the African child is celebrated in all African countries on June 16 to further promote the well being of the African child and we were honored to join the celebrations with the people of Rarieda district in Kenya.

Begin of the procession

The highlight of the day was without a doubt the segment of musical and dance performances by various groups of children in the area. Each group present had prepared something unique, whether a poem, cultural dance, or an original song, and they certainly stole the show! There was also a procession on the streets during which children chanted slogans to spread awareness.

The children from Mama na Dada’s Circle of Hope daycare presented a poem entitled “Unity is Strength” both verbally and using sign language. This was after watching them practice daily beforehand at the Mama na Dada compound. They were all very excited and were the few fortunate students who had permission to miss school that day.

Mama na Dada children performing their poem "Unity is Strength"

For me, celebrations on June 16 are hardly something new. That’s because my Mom’s birthday is on the same day. Happy Birthday Mom! While the two celebrations are different in nature, I feel they will be linked together in my heart for many years to come. It’s certainly helps that my Mom grew up in Nairobi for the first 15 years of her life!

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