Children Abused on the Day of African Child Commemoration

Sendeza Sendeza - pic by Moses Masiye

Sitting on the dusty floor and roasted on direct heat from the sun, waiting for minister of gender, social welfare and community development for hours on empty stomachs are some of the bitter memories that Malawian children have for 2023 day of the African child commemoration.

The minister responsible Jean Sendeza who was according to program of events supposed to arrive at Chembera primary school ground in Balaka at 9 am on Friday arrived almost two hours later joining the children who gathered about four hours earlier.

Apart from the children who took part in different activities, the rest in majority were seemingly dehydrated and hungry as the refreshments passed them overhead being served amongst adults inside tents safe from the scorching sun.

A representative of all civil society organisations at the function, Frank Mwafulirwa of Save the Children diplomatically expressed his concern over the abuse during his speech before the minister's.

"Only if I had the powers to change the sitting plan, I would ask the adults inside the tents to shift to the dusty floor under the hot sun where the children are and let the children (the owners of the day) sit under the tents to sip the purified bottled water and enjoy the biscuits and beverages," said Mwafulirwa who went back to sit under the same tent after his lamentation.

He asked his fellow duty bearers to next time observe punctuality and consider a different sitting plan that will not infringe rights of children again.

Addressing the gathering almost two hours beyond the scheduled time of the program, the minister apologized for the delay.

She later assured the children of government's utmost commitment towards protection of their rights in this digital Era.

The continent is this year commemorating day of the African child under the theme 'The rights of the child in the digital environment.

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