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  • C-Sema Team

This is how we celebrated this year's Day of the African Child!

Updated: Jul 3

This year, C-Sema celebrated the Day of the African Child by teaming up with a fantastic group of child protection stakeholders in Zanzibar namely, SOS CV Zanzibar, Save the Children, ZCRF, THRDC, ZAFELA, TAMWA, JUWAUZA, CYD, PYI, and JUVIEKA. With the theme "Education for all children in Africa: the time is now!", we emphasised our collective commitment to making sure every child’s right to education and welfare is a top priority.


Pre-Event Activities

Before the big day, we partnered with Save the Children and ZCRF for an engaging Children’s Dialogue with decision-makers. The goal? To promote friendly and violence-free learning environments in schools, homes, and communities. The dialogue tackled important issues like the effects of corporal punishment on children's well-being, child neglect from divorce and separation, and the community’s knowledge gap on handling VAC-related incidents.

Children from the National Children’s Council Advisory Board (NCAB) presented their concerns to a variety of key figures, including Social Welfare Officers, Police Gender Desk Officers, Officers from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), CSOs (C-Sema, Save the Children, ZCRF), Shehas, and Women and Children Coordinators from all Shehias of the Central District, Unguja.


The Ministry of Community Development Gender Elderly and Children promised to organise a meeting with the Kadhi’s and Mufti's Office to discuss raising awareness in communities about marriage and divorce procedures, aiming to reduce the divorce rate in Zanzibar. They also committed to developing awareness programmes for the Police Forces on child care and protection, establishing a Child Witness Protection Unit in the DPP’s office, and educating madrasa and school teachers on guidelines and policies for corporal punishment in schools.


With ZCRF, we documented several key concerns and presented them to the heads of schools, councils, District Education Officers (DEOs), and representatives of central Unguja. These concerns included building teacher residences near schools, providing sports equipment and fencing for children's safety, supplying teaching materials for children with disabilities, and organising exam prep camps for national exams finalists in secondary schools. We also raised awareness about parent-teacher collaboration to support learning and prevent violence, and stressed the importance of children’s councils. The officials pledged to develop solutions for these issues.


We also got involved in a pre-DAC sports event organised by ZCRF for children with disabilities at Kisskasak grounds, graced by the Director of Gender and Children’s Department of MoCDGEC, Honorable Siti Abas.


Main Event Celebration

Then came the big day on the 15th of June! Honorable Riziki Pembe Juma, Minister of Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children, her deputy Hon. Anna Atanas Paul, and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Hon. Abeida Abdallah joined us for the celebration. The day kicked off with an inspiring march led by children, accompanied by the Zanzibar Police brass band. It was a lively display of unity, confidence, and strength in advocating for their rights reminiscent of the Soweto students in 1976. 


After the march, a spirited sports tournament took place, featuring children from various schools and backgrounds. Each game highlighted critical issues affecting them. The tournament was a fantastic showcase of the children's athletic talents and provided a platform for them to voice their concerns and aspirations. They delivered powerful speeches, sharing their challenges in education, like transport difficulties and the harmful effects of corporal punishment.


In celebrating the achievements of the participating children, Minister Riziki Pembe Juma personally awarded winners of the sports games, which fostered the children’s sense of accomplishment. In her speech, Minister Juma emphasised the significance of the Day of the African Child and urged students to persist in pursuing their dreams despite the adversities they may face. She also promised that her Ministry together with the government will work on the issues they outlined in their speech.


Hon. Minister Riziki Pembe Juma addressing the children.


Interactive booths from various child protection organisations offered information and resources on children's rights, health, and education. Visitors to C-Sema’s booth learned more about the 116 National Child Helpline and the crucial services it provides to children in need.


Beyond the Zanzibar festivities, C-Sema was honored to participate in the national event in Dar es Salaam, invited by the Ministry of Community Development. As an exhibitor, we showcased our work, especially highlighting the 116 National Child Helpline, demonstrating our commitment to supporting children and ensuring their voices are heard.


The Day of the African Child remains a pivotal moment for child protection stakeholders to reaffirm their dedication to safeguarding and promoting children's rights. C-Sema and its partners are proud to have hosted such a meaningful event, reinforcing the importance of collective action in creating a brighter future for all children. This year’s message was and is still clear: the time for action is now, and together, we can make a difference in the lives of children across Tanzania.


Prepared by C-Sema' s Communications Team.

 

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