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37 yearsa re very few for one to forget a bloody event. When high-school students in Soweto started protesting for better education on 16 June 1976, the police responded with teargas and dogs. When that didn’t work, the cops opened fire, killing at least 23. These were innocent African children who were just protesting for their rights to education, the whites treated them like aliens in their own land. These killings happened for the students wanting the Afrikaner a language that many did not understand abolished from their education system. Due to those killings, the 16th of June every year is celebrated in south Africa as the youths day since the high-school students had joined with college youths to protests against oppression by the whites. In the rest of the world it is called the African child’s day.
Saturday 16th of June these year, all the roads in Nairobi county ended to Eastleigh high school, the main event at the school was the county first celebration of the African child’s day. the event was organized and made a success by the county director for children and the stake holders for children rights. some of these stake holders are: plan international l(a non- governmental organization with its mother office in Britain), world vision, the united nations amongst others. the event started at 9am by everybody assembling Eastleigh high school and then it officially kicked off at 10:00 to 10:15am with the national anthem and a word of prayer .formed the day began for the children when they were offered milk, each child in the field a t least got a packet and they were all ready to begin the celebrations the first group of children entertainers was from Westlands district since every district in the county was to present an item. all the districts could present but they were interrupted d by speeches to break the monotony .Thee speeches all spoke of the challenges facing children following the days theme which was, eliminating armful social and cultural practices affecting children :our collective responsibility. the country director plan international miss. Carol Sherman, was the first to give her speech.
Everybody that gave a speech had the same message, they all said that we should guard, protect and respect the children .The problems that children face were highlighted and here are some of them that I too would want you my reader to stay away from and educate other people on so that our children will be save. early marriage for the girl child, female genital mutilation, non-education for the girl child, child labour, discrimination of the disabled children, child trafficking amongst others. we should always treat all children as if they were our own.s
Entertainment followed again and these time round it was not business as usual because for the first time in my life I saw something that encouraged me to be more close to children and as a journalist always report on issues affecting children. Pupils from Joseph Kang’ethe hearing impairment primary school took to the stage and they shocked everyone by jumping to the beat despite their hearing impairment. when I talked to one of them to find out how that was possible, Dorice Mukami through her teacher Madam Antonina Wangila who acted as an interpreter she said that they can hear some vibration from a distance and
they have someone to tell them when to change to what style.
The best dancer of the day was Mercy Mbenya of Kasarani Murema primary a class three pupil. who shocked many by dancing better than even the masters of the ceremony for the day.
The sweet African child’s day ended by the children havin g lunch and proceeding back home.
story by: Kobia Koome.