African Child Day Celebrated in Makobola and Uvira

22 Jun 2010

African Child Day Celebrated in Makobola and Uvira

Uvira, 18 June 2010 – The International Day of the African Child was celebrated with a different touch this year in Uvira and Fizi territories of the South Kivu province, as the event was organized in the village of Makobola for the first time and with the active support of MONUC.

Some 200 children from 17 schools of Makobola, along with their teachers, took part in a parade marching in front of an audience of local notables, and political, administrative, religious and traditional authorities. A group of children chanted poems on their rights and youth theatre groups highlighted the common problems of child labour and non schooling through impressive skits. A soccer match was also played between the two youth teams from both territories of Fizi and Uvira, right in middle of the village.

For the inhabitants of Makobola, the event was the first of its kind to be held at the place which earned fame due to the war in 1998 which saw a massacre of over 800 people. Among the participant children in the festivities, a large number were either war orphans or children born of rape who found refuge at a trauma treatment clinic run by foreign foundations. The local authorities, as well as the Organization for Support and Development of War-Affected People of Makobola (known as OEDSM, a French acronym for "Organization pour l'encadrement et le développement des sinistrés de Makobola") which organized the event, warmly thanked the MONUC office at Uvira, in particular its Child Protection and Public Information sections for supporting the festivities.

In Uvira, activities of the Day were organized and coordinated by the network of associations for the promotion and protection of children's rights in Uvira and Fizi. Some 300 children participated in the event in presence of local civilian and military authorities. Outstanding theatre and quiz performers were given prizes by the new commander of the MONUC-Uvira Pakistani contingent.