Dear Kenya Works friends:
On this day 44 years ago, thousands of students in Soweto, South Africa prepared to join a march in protest against apartheid. They were speaking out against the discrimination they suffered at school as black children and the poor quality of their education. Hundreds of children were killed and hundreds more injured as they marched for justice, equality and the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Since June 16, 1991, The Day of the African Child (DAC) has been celebrated commemorating those killed in the uprising and recognizing the courage of the students who marched for their right to education. This year's DAC theme is a call for access to child-friendly justice for all of Africa's children. Children are often the most vulnerable in society and suffer many kinds of abuses when justice systems are inaccessible or poorly equipped to support children's needs. Allowing for all to exercise their rights and acknowledging the importance of all being heard and respected (no matter child or adult) is not only the focus of this year’s DAC--it is a primary focus for Kenya Works in all our program areas.
In years past, Kenya Works has participated in large DAC celebrations at which hundreds of children have gathered alongside other Kenyan nonprofit and grassroots organization partners. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, large gatherings are not allowed this year, but our outreach will continue with a mobile truck outreach effort that will be combined with child protection handouts along with food distributions to reach the hungriest families during these challenging times. Our mission continues, and we remain steadfast and focused on dignity-building opportunities that will further the work that began at the march in Soweto 44 years ago. All should have a right to education, opportunity and a dignified future.
There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.
- Kofi Annan
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