Day of the African Child

Harare 15/06/12 –Pre celebrations were held at UNICEF House. Dignitaries included the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Deputy Director of UNICEF Zimbabwe Peter Salama, Minister for Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere, UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Oliver Mtukudzi, Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, Paralympic 100m gold medallist Elliot Mujaji, Disability Rights and Advocacy Officer Abraham Mateta and many others.
The day of the African Child marks an important event in the lives of children across Africa and gives children the opportunity to share their experiences and advocate for continued access to care, treatment and support. This year’s theme was “The rights of children with disabilities; the duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfil”. UNICEF together with various Governmental and Nongovernmental Institutions have taken a leading role in addressing issues faced by disabled children and find lasting solutions to alleviate these challenges.
The day started off with children with disabilities showcasing various talents on the mbira, marimba, poetry, drama and singing. Africaid had a tent, where the children, including hearing impaired, took a leading role in exhibiting services and activities offered. At our tent we were graced by the presence of the First Lady Grace Mugabe, Deputy Director for UNICEF Peter Salama and Oliver Mtukudzi. They had an opportunity of learning more about Africaid and the Zvandiri programme.
Advocate Abraham Mateta began the proceedings with an uplifting message and finished it off with “aspire to inspire before you expire.” Next was Elliot Mujaji who talked mostly about how children with disabilities should not beat upon themselves but forge ahead. He also said that “…everyone has got a disability; I can run 100m in 11 seconds, but someone cannot do so in 11 seconds that is also a disability…”

Picture: Dr Peter Salama, Dr Timothy Stamps, Lister Ndlovu, First Lady Grace Mugabe, Loyce Maturu (Picture Judith Sherman)