On the Day of the African Child on June 16, 2022, there were big celebrations at Mapinga School, prepared together with Maisha Bora. The children and visitors learned more about the meaning of the day and honored it with presentations, poems and dance. In the blog post you can read more about what the Day of the African Child means and how a school from Switzerland supported it as well.
June 16 is the International Day of the African Child. It commemorates the June 16, 1976 uprisings in Soweto, South Africa. At the time, tens of thousands of schoolchildren in the Johannesburg suburb took to the streets to demonstrate against the poor quality of education and for the right to be taught in their mother tongue. That day, and during protests in the weeks that followed, hundreds of girls and boys were shot by armed police, and thousands were injured. In 1991, the African Union declared June 16 as a day of remembrance and would like to use this as an opportunity to further promote and draw attention to the quality of education. Thus, since then, this Day of the African Child has been celebrated in many countries with various activities. (one.org)
Of course, our students of the Mapinga School did not miss this celebration. The Maisha Bora team and the Mapinga School administration together with the children put together a diverse program. On June 16, the whole school area was filled with people - almost 1500 students and visitors were on site. Among them were representatives of the local government and other schools as well.
The program included on the one hand lectures and poems that honored the historical day and on the other hand of course a lot of dance, music, sports and fun. The children were very creative in their performances and with joy presented their talents to the visitors.
To enjoy the time together, there was a rich lunch with rice, beans and salad for everyone and of course cake and juices to celebrate the day. In the afternoon, a sports tournament was held and the winners received some additional school supplies.
A good 6500 km away from the Mapinga School, the students from Neuhof in Uzwil (Switzerland) also got involved with the Day of the African Child. They were informed about the background of the day and furthermore they were introduced to the Mapinga School. They learned that children cannot go to school without a school uniform and that it is simply too expensive for some families to afford it. Therefore, during their project week, they diligently made crafts and prepared a performance to encourage their families, neighbors and other visitors to make a donation. At a market in the schoolyard on June 17, the children sold their handcrafted works of art with great enthusiasm and educated the visitors about the purpose. Some even invested their own money in it to help the children of the Mapinga School.
From the donations of the project week, we were able to have school uniforms made for over 100 students of the Mapinga School by our tailor. The joy of the children and their families was enormous. We say thank you for the unique effort of the class and for the collected donations.
NUKIA is committed to providing quality education to children and making it accessible to poorer children. Private donations as well as projects like the one of the school Neuhof enable us to approach this step by step in a sustainable way. Thank you very much!