SDG

The Day of the African Child champions the protection and rights of African Children. It commemorates the bravery of the youth who lost their lives through massacre against the Apartheid government in 1976, when over 10,000 black students from Soweto marched in protest of the poor quality of their education.

The protest march also sought to show discontent over the Black Education Act, which segregated students based on their race. During two weeks of protests dubbed the ‘Soweto Uprising’, more than 100 students were killed and thousands more injured.

In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU (now African Union) set a side 16th June as the Day of the African Child.

This year the focus is to ‘Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development,’ a theme inspired around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs put emphasis on targeting those left furthest behind first. Children account for half of Africa’s population, so they must be prioritised, empowered and given a say, if development is to benefit all.

It is imperative that African governments and other stakeholders put concerted efforts to improve Children’s current state of affairs.

Compassion International Ghana, is a Christ centered organization that is Church-based and child focused, which was incorporated in 2004 and started its operations first in the Greater Accra Region in July 2005, with seven (7) ICPs and about 1,000 children.

The Organization ministers to the holistic (physical, cognitive, socio – emotional and spiritual) needs of poor children. As such, they value Integrity, Excellence, Stewardship and Dignity.

Delivering her welcome address at a symposium on 15th June, 2018 in Accra ahead of this year’s celebration slated on 16th June, 2018 in the Central Region, Mrs. Gifty Dansoah Appiah, the National Director of Compassion International Ghana, stated that, “CIG as a Child focused organization, aims at the holistic development of the child as a vehicle to release children from poverty in ‘Jesus Name’ deem it fit and appropriate to continue to share in this memory and bring home the need to provide the right incentives and avenues for the development of the child. Hence, the institutionalization of this annual symposium is in honour and celebration of the African child and especially for the Ghanaian child.”

She added that, this year, the theme for the celebration is instructed, Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development “, and it is appropriate and timely particularly at the time when most countries on the African Continent including our own Ghana, are trying to galvanize all resources and move beyond aid.

The theme speaks to emphasize the need to make these children’s right in all developmental programmes implemented by member States at all levels. Thus, the overarching principle is inclusive development for children, that is, whenever undertaking to develop programs and policies for implementing Agenda 2030, children should be at the centre-stage and ensure that no child is left behind in the drive towards sustainable economic development. And it also highlights the need to ensure that ‘NO CHILD IS LEFT BEHIND’ in the drive towards sustainable economic development. This is particularly important in the African context where children form the majority of Africa’s population.”

“This year’s DAC, she said seeks to achieve the following objectives; that decision makers and the media will affirm that the SDGs and development agendas cannot be achieved without particularly paying attention to specific needs and concerns of children including the poorest and the vulnerable.

Again, the year’s celebration aims to secure further commitment from governments to prioritize children’s right and the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs and agendas so that no child is left behind, and that, opportunities will be created for children to express their views on the SDGs and other development agendas and for Africa and the various countries that we are coming from.

And so, today we are looking forward to governments publicly, reaffirming the commitment to prioritize children and children’s right in the implementation of the SDGs and development agendas,” Mrs. Gifty Dansoah Appiah reiterated.

To grace the occasion were; Rev Dr. Joyce R After, CEO of salt and light Ministry,
The representative of the Gender Minister, Mr. Forster Adzraku, Project Officer at the Ministry, Dr. Mrs. Joan Woode, a paediatrician at Korle Bu, DSP Mrs. Christian Amuzu-Srofenyoh, security professional and an experienced law enforcer, Prof. George K.T Oduro, Pro Vice-Chancellor of UCC, Rev. Maxwell Kwaku Obeng, Sunday school minister of the Methodist Church Ghana, a section of students from various schools and many others.

By:Sammy Adjei/ Newsghana.com.gh

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