Today we celebrate the International Day of the African Child. it was initiated by the AOU in 1991 in commemoration of the Soweto Uprising in 1976 in which many children were killed during a protest for better education in their own languages .
Looking at the children in African countries, we can see that there are still many challenges ahead. A lot of children are orphaned due to ongoing conflicts, diseases and displacement of people. Many have fled their homes and live in dire circumstances in refugee camps across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In Europe there are many refugees from African countries, many are fathers who had no choice but to flee, leaving their children and wives behind. The problem is, that if these fathers are not allowed to work they can’t send money home and this leaves the children without support. Schools are expensive in African countries, and if the father can’t help his children they just can’t go to school, and may end up in child labour. We should not close our eyes to this. A country like Ireland who doesn’t allow asylum seekers to work is also letting down and trampling on the rights of children who stayed behind in Africa.
We made this podcast to mark the 2017 International Day of the Child. We interviewed Leonie, a mother form South Africa, Frank, 19, who had to flee Zimbabwe after protesting in support of Evan Mawarire of the This Flag Movement.
In their interviews we can hear how education is always mentioned. Children who have no education become aimless, don’t go to school, end up using drugs and perpetuating the problem for their own children.
Have a listen, and please share.