GIS – 25 June 2020: All children around the world are entitled to the same rights and Government will ensure that the rights of each child of the Republic of Mauritius are respected, said the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah, this morning, in Belle Rose during a ceremony, held at the Shelter La Colombe, to mark the Day of the African Child 2020.
The event was organised jointly by the Ministry of Gender and Family Welfare and the National Children's Council (NCC). A presentation on a Tree of Values was given by children from the Shelter. The tree was conceived by the young residents on the theme of the Covid-19 pandemic, and illustrated lessons learnt and experiences linked to the virus as well as the importance of families, harmony and protecting the society and the environment. Other activities comprised a poem recital and a singing act by the residents of the Shelter.
In her address, Mrs Koonjoo-Shah expressed gratitude to the personnel of the Shelter and staff of her Ministry and the NCC for their resilience and efforts during the lockdown period and in ensuring the safety of children during these 72 dire days. It was indeed a difficult period for children, caregivers, families and the entire world, she observed.
Furthermore, the Minister expressed conviction that all children are born with an innate special talent. The onus is on adults to discover and promote such talents and provide support to these children so that they become exemplary citizens and make their close ones, educators and Mauritius proud, she emphasised.
The Ministry, Mrs Koonjoo-Shah reiterated, will provide the necessary assistance for the development and well-being of children. In turn, she added, children should be respectful and first and foremost make their country proud.
The Day of the African Child
The African Union and its Member States observe the Day of the African Child (DAC) every year on 16 June as a commemoration of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa.
During that uprising, students who marched in protest against apartheid-inspired education, were brutally murdered. The DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took in defence of their right.
The DAC has been observed since 1991 and instituted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then Organisation of the African Union.
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