On 16 June, the African Union and its Member States observe the Day of the African Child (DAC) as a commemoration of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, where students who marched in protest against apartheid-inspired education, were brutally murdered. The day aims at raising awareness for the situation of children in Africa, and on the need for continuing improvement in education. It encourages people’s spirit of abundance to share something special with a child in Africa. This year’s theme is, “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”.
Children represent 53% of the total population in Zambia. Over the years Zambia has signed two major children rights declarations: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. However, due to the insufficiency in legal and policy frameworks for children and investments in education and child protection, children today still encounter major hurdles in securing basic standards of living such as proper education, adequate health services and adequate nutrition.
The primary beneficiaries of our projects and activities are children aged 8 to 17. Children represent over 70% of beneficiaries of our work in education, health and livelihoods. We use football as a tool to empower young people with the following interventions:
As a child centred organisation, we use different platforms such as the Day of the African Child to advocate for increased awareness of the rights of children in Zambia in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women including ending unwanted and Child Pregnancies and Marriages.
Through our Girls Moving Forward programme which is part of the Girls and Women Empowerment Project, we are hosting a one-day workshop on Wednesday 16 July, 2021 for 25 girls aged 14 to 17 . The workshop which is partly supported by the National Organization for Women in Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) will include sessions on gender based violence, SRHR, child marriages and financial literacy. The sessions will be led by facilitators from the YWCA and the Zambia Centre for Communication Programme (ZCCP).
Upon completion of the workshop, girls will be empowered with knowledge on issues surrounding sensitive topics around GBV and SRHR, further providing them with the power to report cases of abuse and harassment to established local authorities. Additionally, the workshop will serve as an opportunity to provide financial education to the girls which helps them to make sound financial decisions in life.