BY Chioma Obinna,Charles Kumolu & Emmanuel Elebeke
LAGOS— Street children of Kuramo Beach, Lagos, Wednesday, thrilled audience at the 2011 African Child’s Day at Silver Bird Galleria, Lagos with a series of video.
The films, numbering six, were produced by a group of children abandoned by their parents and guardians at Kuramo Beach.
They were sponsored by the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, with support from Children to Children Network.
Unveiling the films, the Assistant Country Representative and Chief of Lagos Office, Mrs. Sara Nyanti, said that with the presentation of the six films, the children who were regarded as nothing had demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have the abilities to do things that are worthwhile.
She said: “UNICEF highly values its partnership with organisations such as Children to Children Network, with whom UNICEF can work together to address issues of street children, bring about their rehabilitation and provide a platform for their participation.”
Participation simply means young people taking in and influencing process, decisions and activities that affect their lives. In the convention on the rights of children document and the African charter on child’s right, participation is a legal right not goodwill,” she stated.
Mrs. Nyanti remarked that this year’s commemoration of the Day of the African Child, was in remembrance of the sacrifice the children in South Africa made in 1991, when they called for their rights to education, adding that the day provided all the stakeholders in the fight for protection of the rights of African child the opportunity to reflect on the situation of children and to draw up a roadmap on the way forward towards actualizing the rights of children.
With the theme “All Together in Favour of Action for Street Children”, the country representative said all concerned interest groups should the occasion as a call to ponder over the plight of the street children, as a serious social problem that e every attention.
In her response, the wife of Lagos state governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola who commended the effort of the children stated that the occasion of African Child Day celebration offers the government a thought to deliberate with other stakeholders the condition of the street children, review policies put in place for the plight of the children and to seek ways of remedying their pathetic situation, saying that the recent enactment of the child right act by the Lagos state government was an eloquent testimony of government’s commitment to eradicate any form of child abuse in the state.
She however, urged parents and guardians to always encourage and support every child and to see their rights as a responsibility and not a privilege.