The Day of the African Child : The Rights of Children With Disabilities
Chosen Children of Promise (CCP) celebrated the Day of the African Child (DAC) on June 16th 2012 at CCP’s Community Center, Kawangware. This year’s theme was “The Rights of Children with Disabilities: the Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill.” The day focused on raising awareness to protect, respect, promote and fulfill the rights of children with disabilities. The activities of the day included face-painting, games, skits, songs, poems, dances, taekwondo and speeches based on the day’s theme. Valentine Oliech, the Founder and Director of Eugene Angolo Charity Foundation, an organization that deals with orphans, disabled and needy children, graced the occasion. Valentine was accompanied by six disabled children. Joyce Achieng, a disabled girl from one of CCP’s sponsored families, also graced the occasion. Valentine highlighted four types of disabilities being ‘Cerebral Palsy’, ‘Hydrocephalus’, ‘Down Syndrome’ and ‘Autism.’ Valentine noted that ‘Cerebral Palsy’ is the brain damage and is common in infants born with very low weight or premature infants. ‘Hydrocephalus’ is a medical condition in which there is abnormal accumulation of water in the brain leading to mental disability. On the other hand, ‘Down Syndrome’ is a genetic disorder associated with mild to moderate learning disabilities, developmental delays, similar characteristic of facial features, and other health issues such as rough skin. ‘Autism’ is a neural development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication as well as repetitive behavior. Valentine stated that disabled children should be treated just like normal children for “We are all equal before God.” She emphasized on the need to love, care and protect disabled children. Valentine further appreciated CCP for championing for the rights of children in Kawangware. Joyce on the other hand testified of how she became deaf and blind after finishing her High School education in 2008. However, she has the ability to speak. Joyce called upon everyone to show love to the disabled in the society. Other speakers including children, called for every person to fight against discrimination of disabled children. At the end, the day was marked with a delicious lunch for every child. DAC is celebrated yearly on June 16th by the African states in commemoration of those killed in the 1976 Soweto Uprising in South Africa. Many children were shot dead as they protested in demand for better quality education and the right to be taught in their native language as opposed to the apartheid regime. The day was first established by the Organization of African Unity, currently African Union in 1991.
African children at the event
This young one is just carried away
Joyce Achieng (left), an invited guest who is also deaf and blind communicates with Mildred Andia, a Social Worker
Valentine Oliech (left), Founder and Director of Eugene Angolo Charity Foundation, demonstrates how to care for a disabled child
Its all celebration
Youth dance in a style
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