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NYC to Mark Day of the African Child

Jun 11, 2009, 7:46 AM

The National Youth Council (NYC), in collaboration with various stakeholders in child and youth development in the country will on June 16 commemorate the Day of the African Child.

The day was meant to reflect on the death of many school children who were fighting for their rights in South Africa during the Apartheid Regime in 1976.

Since then, the day has been recognised and commemorated all over Africa, including The Gambia.

The theme for this year is "Africa Fit for Children Call for Accelerated Action towards Child Survival".

As part of the commemoration, NYC is organising a symposium at St.Augustine's Senior Secondary School in Banjul on June 17 2009. Highlights of this year's celebration will include a march-past from KG5 Mini Stadium through

Hagan Street
to St.Augustine's School where the festival proper would be held.

In Soweto, South Africa, thousands of black school children took to the streets in 1976, in a march more than half a mile long, to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured.

To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity. The day also draws attention to the lives of African children today.