In 1976, children were massacred in Soweto, South Africa, for protesting against education injustice and inequality in the apartheid regime. Forty-six years later, the African child is still plagued with education injustice, inequality and harmful practices across most of Africa.
As we honor the memory of those children massacred in Soweto, perhaps we should take a glimpse into the life of the African child.
The African Child is playful. They are excited to interact with family and friends and play all the made-up games that children do.
The African Child is intelligent. From an early age, they learn many skills, including animal rearing, farming, and learning two to three languages to communicate effectively with whomever they encounter, which is on top of formal school education. In addition, the African Child is resilient. Challenges, obstacles, and hardships are an expectation, and they know they must work hard; if they fall, they must get up again.
The African Child is more than just a child but is a molded result of generations and
generations of people who were told they were less than others and that their worth was lesser than in this world. However, the African Child is a triumph that, time and time again, those people never gave up, so the African Child does not give up.
The African Child is a child like any other, a dreamer whose dreams are just as vibrant,
beautiful, and brilliant.
They say that luck is that momentary spark when hard work meets opportunity. While the
African Child works hard and strives for these opportunities; the truth is those opportunities are far and few.
The truth is that there is a mass of educated, ambitious, intelligent children who put the work in and explore all facets of opportunities to get that chance to revolutionize their lives and enrich their families and fellow citizens.
The change the African child needs is empowering education and opportunities to succeed. They need to not only dream about what their life would be if they had different circumstances but be given a chance for that reality to be.
The African Child needs an environment free of harmful practices such as subjection to gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, period poverty, and child marriages. Children should never worry about surviving their childhood and hoping they come out of it intact.
Kenya Connect believes in the potential and power of the African child. For two decades we have broken down barriers to education and provided enrichment and empowerment programs. A mobile library program and the first-ever community library in the subcounty, computer classes to help bridge the vast digital divide, the girl/boy empowerment program to reduce teen pregnancy and leadership and mentorship programs are occurring daily in Wamunyu.
The African child needs you!
by Faith Doucette, Director of Mentorships and Partnerships