The commemoration of the Day of the African Child 2022 presents an opportunity to take stock of what has been done with regard to the adoption of policies and practices that safeguard the rights and safety of children, and reflect on what more needs to be done, to effectively eliminate harmful practices affecting children in Africa. BfA continues to engage children, communities, and authorities to create a greater awareness surrounding the rights of children. Our programmes provide a platform for children’s voices to be heard.

If a child does not know what their rights are, they cannot understand if or when they are being violated. With this in mind, we hosted 300 children at Bumangi Primary School in Kalangala District where we educated and informed them of their rights and the existing policies that protect those rights. We used this opportunity to also explain the importance of holding government representatives accountable. The participating children, teachers, and community representatives came from across our programmes in the District.

As a follow-up from our #DAC workshop, Brass for Africa facilitated a children’s discussion about the issues which affect them in Kalangala District and, by extension, Uganda. From this discussion, they came up with an appeal showing areas that need more work; this included questions surrounding the right to justice, protection from abuse, and the right to education. Selected student representatives from across our programmes presented this appeal to the District Education Officer, Mr. Nseko Emmanuel who acknowledged their concerns. The motion is an important step towards demanding accountability and was received with much respect.

To wrap up the celebration and acknowledgement of Day of the African Child, we successfully applied for a slot on Radio Ssese, where members from the Silver and Gold Level Bands were given the platform to speak about their rights. During the show, the key points that the children spoke about were the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to justice, and the right to be heard. They encouraged the children who were listening to the show to come out of the crowd and fight for their rights, whilst also demanding accountability from the community members and responsible stakeholders to make sure that these rights are respected. The talk was very successful and afterwards, the bands played several pieces of music to close the programme.