Today – June 16th – we celebrate the International Day of the African Child! Help us amplify the voices of the seventeen thousand young Africans at our partner organisations across the continent participating in TackleAfrica programmes.
This day seems especially relevant this year as we’re seeing protests around the world for Black Lives Matter. The International Day of the African Child started to commemorate those killed during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa. This started as a protest on June 16th, 1976, where nearly ten thousand black students marched against the Black Education Act which segregated students based on race. That day, and in the weeks that followed, hundreds of students were killed and thousands injured in clashes with the police.
Since 1991, the day has been celebrated to recognise the courage of those students in 1976, marching for what they knew was right.
Today, the International Day of the African Child helps raise awareness of the need to improve education for so many children in Africa. Plan International states that of the 57 million primary school age children currently out of school around the world, over half are from sub-Saharan Africa. Read more about the history of the day on Plan’s website here.
At TackleAfrica, we know the importance of education on young people’s lives particularly when it comes to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Educated young people marry later, and can support their families better. Educated girls also have fewer children, who survive, meaning a better standard of living for the whole family and the chance to rise up out of poverty. Educated young people can make safer sexual decisions about contraception and protection against STIs and HIV, protecting themselves, their partners and their communities. In short, education is key, and we’re proud to work on programmes that educate, inform and challenge young Africans to improve their sexual and reproductive health, and know their rights.
Join us today in celebrating the International Day of the African Child, and if you would like to get involved, please join the #RaceToAfrica, raising much-needed funds for our work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit https://tackleafrica.org/racetoafrica2020/