The Day of the African Child – a virtual celebration
Schools from across Warwick District and in Bo met online to celebrate the International Day of the African Child, 2021
The ‘Day of the African Child’ is an international event, celebrated every year on 16th June, to raise awareness of the continuing need to promote children’s rights and to improve education to African children. One World Link has been celebrating this event with schoolchildren across Warwick District since 2009. Usually, we arrange a large day-long celebration involving over 500 local children. 2020 and 2021 were – by necessity – a little different. Since the Corona virus prevented us from getting together to celebrate this day, schools in Bo and the UK met up in Zoom meetings.
For the second year running we had to adapt our plans for celebrating our links and promoting Education for All. There has been no need for a marquee for two years and much disappointment from the lack of physical celebrating.
However, perhaps learning from our Bo colleagues’ need to be always resourceful and positive, we planned a Zoom Event with surprising success! It is actually quite easy to note the advantages:
We were able to ‘meet’ our MP at a convenient time for him, despite last minute changes for us- we saw him at 9.15 instead of 2.30 as originally planned! We hosted many other OWL, British Council and Send My Friend guests without any travel miles, important when our theme is about reducing our impact on the environment (UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action). Teachers were able to choose which parts of the day to take part in; some did the whole day with virtual singing, drumming and dance workshops, others came to just the campaign assembly. We possibly doubled/tripled our reach to over 1000 children participating from their classrooms, since this was open to the whole school. Most importantly, our children in Bo were able to participate for the first time, sharing wonderful poetry performance and drama skits.
Pupils at St Joseph’s Primary, Leamington engaged their virtual audience, including Matt Western MP when describing this years Send My Friend campaign. Here is their summary:
Our task for the campaign is to think about all the challenges children face that prevent them accessing education and then think about what your ideal school of the future would need.
Some examples we have considered are:
• solar water pumps to prevent dehydration,
• well trained teachers that are able to teach the many needs within a class,
• adults educated in equality to make sure no-one is left out,
• enough resources including stationery and technology
• trained health professionals in school to help with physical and mental health,
• free medical supplies such as sanitary towels to help all feel comfortable,
• barriers around schools to prevent dangers from outside
• schools that are kept safe from flooding
• and a germ force field to kill all illness so schools never have to close again.
All of these ideas require one thing – MONEY! Therefore, we are urging our Government to increase our aid to education and encourage other nations to spend more, much more, on global aid.
We would like to ask our MP to ensure that our Government will do what it has promised in terms of funding education around the world – ensuring that all children can receive a quality education.
OWL education is continuing to develop Global Citizens for the future.