OPINION: An open letter to you the African child – Voice Out!
Published on: June 16, 2021 11:54 (EAT)
By Alvin Mwangi The African child: You are facing a lot of challenges; but keep on pushing, keep on speaking, keep on showing up, keep on having fun…just keep ON! Getting justice has been a night mare, our systems are so corrupt such that criminals of sexual assaults just like our politicians get out by Bail. You have been defiled, molested, assaulted, harassed by your Father, Uncle, Brother, Pastor, Friend, Mother, Partner! You are loosing out on formal education, especially you from the rural and poor communities who cant afford private tutors and virtual learning You are feeling lonely, helpless and even fear of being separated from your loved on especially in this times of pandemic. You are experiencing economic exploitation, child labor, Early and Forced child marriage, Child trafficking, teenage pregnancy, school drop outs due to the loss of income within your family and commercial sex exploitation. Most of you have been lured into unhealthy sexual relationships during this lock down as a result of closure of schools by the government to prevent spread of COVID19 Does Your parent know that you go through depression, stress amongst other mental health issues? About 262.5 million of you from pre-primary and secondary school are out of school because of COVID19 closures. VOICE OUT!! You are able to form your own view and you should be given an opportunity to decide how you wish to be represented directly or indirectly. VOICE OUT! Education is important, it shapes your future. It helps you and also the community you belong to. DEMAND to be free from the bondage of (Female Genital Mutilation) FGM REFUSE to be married off before the age of 18, this will ensure access to education and future independence. DEMAND to be protected from online sites as well as cyber bullying. DEMAND to be protected from the negative effects of COVID19 IN YOUR COMMUNITY BY YOUR that the Government DEMAND A Right to Education – to develop your personality, talent and physical abilities to reach your full potential VOICE OUT and Demand for Equal distribution and access to Essential Services, #COVID19 has greatly affected your life and your community, DEMAND to know: what is your government doing to help address the challenges you are facing? DEMAND that the Sexual Offences ACT to be Implemented! As we Mark and Celebrate the Day of the African Child tomorrow, the 16th June, I ask the African Child to Have confidence! You have all it takes to reach your potential. Keep on dreaming and pursue your dreams!
Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate
Network of Adolescents and Youth of Africa (NAYA Kenya)