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Celebrating the Day of the African Child

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Some children working together on the day. Their t-shirts read: 'Plan and budget for my rights.'

300 children and young people from Cameroon’s 10 regions have commemorated the Day of the African Child* under the theme “Planning and budgeting for the rights of the child: a collective responsibility.”

Empowering Cameroonian children

Each year, Plan collaborates with Cameroon’s government through the Ministry of Social Affairs to commemorate the Day of the African Child.  This is done through financial support and the organisation of a special day known as ‘Plan Cameroon Day,’ held annually since 16th June 2007.

This year the day was celebrated under the theme ‘Empower the Cameroonian child to participate in the planning and budgeting of his or her rights and welfare.’

Activities involved 300 children and young people, including 180 junior parliamentarians and 120 children and young people from partner organizations and primary and secondary schools in Yaoundé. 147 girls and 153 boys attended.

Poetry, drawings, drama, dancing

 The day was focused on the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s independence and the opening ceremony of the World Cup. From 10 until 6, children participated in debates, poems, recitations, drawings, drama/sketches, songs and dances.

Activities were facilitated in groups by Plan staff and partners, and based on categories of children’s rights (survival, development, protection and participation) and other issues that concern children, such as ‘violence against children in families, schools and communities.’

Highlights included the musical drill for the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s independence and the giant screen projection of the World Cup opening ceremony.

Children need to know their rights

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A child receives a special school backpack.

The day ended with all 300 participants receiving special school back packs designed to help them realise basic rights, including bath towels, drinking cups, toothbrushes and toothpaste, pens, pencils and sharpeners.

They left Plan Cameroon’s Bastos Office to the voice of Plan Cameroon’s Country Director Amadou Boucoum, who said:

“Children can truly enjoy their welfare by striving to know their rights and with this knowledge, go a long way to influence policy-makers to plan and budget for the welfare of all Cameroonian children.”

*In 1991 the African Union declared 16th June as the Day of the African Child, in memory of the children who were massacred in Soweto on 16th June 1976. Each year a theme is allocated to this day based on the issues affecting African children.