June 16: International Day of the African Child

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The International Day of the African Child honors the lives of young protestors who marched for equal education rights in South Africa in 1976.  It is also an opportunity to highlight the continuing needs of African communities that struggle to provide safe, quality learning environments and opportunity for their children. This year, the day brings to light “Eliminating Harmful, Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children.” Each year thousands of stakeholders, children, and organizations use this as a day for remembrance and advocacy.

At Asante Africa Foundation, we strive to support these communities through programs that provide healthy learning environments, enhance teaching and learning quality, and provide scholarships and leadership skills. Programs like the Leadership Incubator and our girls’ health, hygiene, financial literacy and entrepreneurship initiatives are helping to create and build a strong foundation toward eliminating obstacles and overcoming harmful cultural practices. We hope that each child directly impacted by our programs will return to their communities to share their knowledge and ‘pay it forward’. By building on the strengths of students and their community, we create a sustainable cycle of learning and community development.

Now, I know the ways that I can use to overcome the challenges along my way, I am promise that I will share with other four people.” – Eunis, student

We hope you will join and support our efforts this year, both to honor the lives of children lost 23 years ago, and to continue fighting for access to education for Africa’s children today. To find out more about how you can help honor this important day, visit asanteafrica.org and dayoftheafricanchild.org.

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Liberia: Ellen Issues Proclamation for ‘Day of the African Child’

14 June 2013

 

President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf has issued a Proclamation declaring Sunday, June 16, 2013 ‘Day of The African Child’ (DAC) to be observed throughout Liberia as a Working Holiday. The day will be celebrated on Monday, June 17, 2013 since it falls on Sunday.

The President, in her Proclamation, called on all citizens and foreign residents, national and international youth organizations and all government agencies concerned to join the Ministry of Gender and Development in executing appropriate programs befitting the observance of the day.

Liberian children are expected to join other children across the African Continent to celebrate the DAC under the theme “Our Collective Responsibility In Eliminating Harmful, Social And Cultural Practices Affecting Children In Liberia”.

The significance of the Declaration and Observance of the DAC is in memory of hundreds of school children who were brutally massacred in Soweto, South Africa by the then Apartheid Regime in June, 1976 while advocating for equal rights and opportunities.

The Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU), adopted Resolution Number 1240 in 1990, declaring June 16 of each year as the ‘Day of The African Child’ to focus awareness on the problems and address their effects on the young African population.

An Act of the Liberian National Legislature in 1992, in consonance with and adherence to the Convention of the Rights of The Child, ratified said Convention which guarantees the full protection of children from all forms of deprivation and abuse.

“As a Member of the United Nations, the Government of the Republic of Liberia reaffirmed its commitment to nurture and protect the Children of Liberia”, the Proclamation noted.

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ercj8ztsrwk     Flash mob at last year’s celebration (Tanzania)
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1MaYsHurDk   2012 Exhibition booth at AU Headquarters (Ethiopia)
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Daddy’s Day

Father’s Day. Baba’s Day. It’s important that we set aside time to celebrate the  key role daddies play. Not feelin’ the June “holiday?”  That’s cool. Choose another time that works for your fam. Think about what the men in your life love to do. What makes them laugh?  How do they relax? Not sure what to do? Consider these suggestions:

– Honour the fathers/grandpas/godpas (ancestral and living) in your circle. Do something special with/for them.

– Place photos of your ancestral fathers on your family altar.

– Have a family potluck or BBQ. Slip in a few tunes like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL6DeCSICBc9 (Beyonce – Daddy), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAg58TLs8sc (The Suns – Happy Father’s Day), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgrPgfoLCJM (The Winstons – Color Him Father)

– Give gifts with meaning ie. experiences rather than things.

 

Can We Stop the Black Male Bashing…At Least on Father’s Day?

June 14th, 2012 – By Veronica Wells

 

I remember the first time I learned that people, children specifically, “didn’t have fathers.” My first grade tormentor Derek taught me that lesson. Derek, the bully, the pest, the agitator, who rarely spoke kindly or honestly, told me, matter of factly, that he didn’t have a father. Being that my father has always been a constant physical and emotional presence in my life, I really didn’t understand what he meant by that. How could someone not have a father? I took the question to my mother and she told me, “Everyone has a father. Some people just don’t know their fathers or their fathers aren’t around them that often.” I didn’t fully grasp what “not having a father” might mean to someone but I did sympathize with people like that, even Derek.

Today, I still don’t completely understand but as I’ve gotten older and been around more and more people who know this story, I’ve seen just how hurtful it can be. I’ve been around men who referred to their fathers as “sperm donors.” I’ve known women who sought the love they lacked from their fathers in other unworthy men and I’ve even come across a few people who’ve said not having a father in their lives didn’t affect them one way or the other.

A couple of years ago, I got into a pretty intense debate with an associate who used Father’s Day to broadcast his grievances with black men in general. I was enraged. Sure, there are deadbeat dads in our community, maybe even more than other communities, but don’t attack all black men when there are also numerous examples of black men doing the right thing when it comes to their children.

In recent years I’ve come to realize that my associate wasn’t the only one.

How many of our leaders, black leaders, take the time to celebrate black fathers? How many black clergymen use Father’s Day as another day to bash black men instead of dedicating the day to celebrating the fathers who are taking care of their children? I know the Pastor of my home church hasn’t always celebrated black men on Father’s Day. Not surprisingly, he grew up without a father. Even President Obama, who writes and speaks candidly about his father’s absence, spent a majority of his now famous Father’s Day speech at the Apostolic Church of God in 2008 telling black men to step up.

It wasn’t until later, like earlier today, that I realized that they, my associate, my pastor and even President Obama, were speaking from a place of hurt. They were projecting their experiences, their pain onto the entire community.

And I don’t completely disagree with them. There are some…a lot of black men who do need to step up and have a more effective role in their children’s lives. What I don’t agree with, is the attack on all black men. Society does that everyday of the year. The brothas who are trying and succeeding at being good fathers to their children deserve some recognition. Why can’t they get that on Father’s Day? After all, I don’t see deadbeat or absentee mothers being derided on Mother’s Day. And we all know those women exist…

Since I’m calling for the celebration of good black fathers it’s only right that I take a little time to thank my own father for his guidance, his wisdom, his humor, his provision, his encouragement and his presence. I hope that on Father’s Day and everyday you, and all the fathers like you, receive the recognition you deserve for a [tough] job well done.

P.S. – Interested in the history of Father’s Day? Here you go: http://www.fathersdaycelebration.com/fathers-day-history.html