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LAB celebrates African Child Day with pupils

By Yusufu S. Bangura

Every year on 16th June, Legal Aid Board (LAB) in collaboration with National Insurance Company (NIC), Rokel Commercial Bank and Arkman Music Tribute to Africa Child Musical concert, celebrates the African Child with both primary and secondary pupils across the Freetown municipality.

The event was celebrated this year on the theme “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children, Progress on Policy & Practice since 2013″

The celebration took place at Victoria Park, Off Godrich Street in Freetown on Thursday 16th June 2022.

In his statement, Marketing Manager for NIC, Benedict Robbin said they observed African Child Day with pupils as a commemoration of about ten thousand black school children who marched in a column, more than half a mile long in Soweto.

He said the uprising took place on the 16th June 1976 in South Africa so as to protect the poor quality of their education and their right to be taught in their own language.

He said they celebrate the day so as to raise awareness of the continuing need of improvement of education provided to African children.

Robin thanked President Bio for his initiative and implementation of the free quality education for which he encouraged everyone to embrace and give their support to the fullest.

“This day gives us an opportunity to take stock of what we have done for our children and reflect on what needs to be done to ensure that they enjoy their rights and therefore develop to their full potential. African children should be empowered through full implementation of the African Charter on the rights of the child. They should be fully developed, rewarded and protected for the benefits of the society,” he said.

He encouraged children to identify who they are and maximise their potentials in creating their own future to transform the Africa they want, because it a collective duty they owe to the nation as an African child with unflinching and unwavering quest for a better future.

He continued that every child has something unique to offer and now is the time to identify what they are good at.

“I want urge Legal Aid Board, National Youth Commission and all those working for children to continue in the commitment of accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities to the children of this nation to enable them enjoy their rights to the fullest and realise their dream to the fullest,” he urged.

Executive Director, Legal Aid Board, Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles said they celebrated the day with various pupils across Freetown to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realization of the rights of children in Africa.

She said they have been working for the less privileged and challenged people in community levels especially children. 

She said children are now unprotected in society and that they are now the most victims of rape, human trafficking, drugs abuse and violence of many forms.

“If children are the future leaders, we must work harder to put smile on their faces, protect and love them, educate and light a torch to show them the way. The transition of this continent and our country will be determined on how big our dreams are and how far we are ready and willing to go to emancipate our enslaved conscience,” she said.

Madam Carlton-Hanciles further encourage children not to waste their time watching movies, fighting after school games and sports, not be around mercury red box or involve in any violence and not to engage in sexual intercourse that would lead them to prison, but they should always be listening to their parents and go beyond the margin by doing what is best to succeed and impact the future.

After giving their advice to the children, host of artists including Arkman performed various songs for pupils to avoid violence among themselves.

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