BUJUMBURA June 18th (ABP) – Burundi joined other nations on Wednesday June 16 to celebrate the International African Child Day, commemorated in memory of the black children of Soweto who demonstrated to demand the right to education, just like the white children of South Africa and whose movement ended in a bloodbath, these children having been shot on June 16, 1976.
The Minister of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender, Mrs. Imelde Sabushimike who represented the government, indicated that the government, in collaboration with organizations working in the field of children in Burundi, chose the Sobel site of the 13th crossroads in Maramvya to house the ceremonies of the day in order to show solidarity with the children displaced by the floods in Gatumba.
Minister Sabushimike said that the government of Burundi has already carried out a number of projects in the context of child protection, in particular the establishment of the national child protection policy, the police for minors and the reintegration of street children (ESR). There is also the establishment of three rehabilitation centers for minors in conflict with the law, the children’s forum, free primary education and free health care for children under 5, said Mrs. Sabushimike, adding that there are other projects that have been implemented in support of children in difficulty and those affected by disasters.
According to Minister Sabushimike, the government appreciates the achievements of associations and NGOs working in the protection of children. The government will spare no effort to support the children affected by the Gatumba floods and vulnerable families but, it takes issue with the families that deliver their children in begging in the street. The same authority has also castigated the behavior of children who come of age and who continue to beg in the street instead of teaming up in associations to seek their future. To these, Minister Sabushimike said that their place is not on the streets and that it will be difficult for them to found their homes, warning that these irresponsible children and families will be prosecuted.
She advised the children of the Sobel site to continue to obey their parents and go to school to prepare for their future. She did not forget to recall that the Covid-19 pandemic is still there and that they must continue to prevent it by abiding by the barrier measures recommended by the government.
Various gifts intended for those children were given to them by the Minister responsible for National Solidarity and her delegation.
Note that the African Child Day was celebrated under the theme “30 years after the adoption of the charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa conducive to children”.