Kigali- Today, Tuesday, 16 June 2020 Rwanda joins other African Union Member States to observe the Day of the African Child under the theme’ Malayika Murinzi; a call for all Rwandans.’ This year’s theme on the African continental level is: ‘'Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa.’
Due to preventive measures to contain #COVID19 pandemic, there have been no celebration. The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion through the National Commission for Children and other partners, have been using Radio/TV and social media to sensitize the public on raising children into families, ensuring positive parenting, preventing all forms of violence against children. The Ministry reiterates its call to the community to join ‘Malayika Murinzi Program’, an approach that aims at raising all children into families.
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Prof. BAYISENGE Jeannette underlines: ‘Celebrating the Day of African Child, is an opportunity to encourage everyone to reflect on the best practice of treating every child as your own. It is our collective responsibility to raise children into families and protecting them from all forms of violence.’
‘While we observe the Day of African Child, we acknowledge the strides made in implementing the Strategy of Child Care Reform introduced by Government of Rwanda since 2012. We also hail Malayika Murinzi for their role in promoting and protecting children's rights.’ Added the Minister
The ‘Malayika Murinzi/Guardian Angels' campaign was initiated in 2007 and consisted of identifying and rewarding adults who have shown remarkable compassion and selflessness by adopting, caring and protecting vulnerable children in their own communities.
This initiative was a continuation of the Organization of African First Ladies program 'Treat Every Child as your Own'. Since its inception, a total of 216 'guardian angels' have been rewarded by Rwanda’s First Lady HE Jeanette Kagame in recognition of their exceptional work. Currently, there is 4,440 Malayika Murinzi countrywide.
Since 1991, the Day of the African Child is celebrated by all African Union member states every 16th June. The date was initiated by the former Organization of African Unity (OAU) current African Union to honor children who participated in the Soweto (South Africa) Uprising in 1976 when about ten thousand black school children protested the poor quality of their education and were demanding their right to be taught in their own language. On that particular day, hundreds of young students were shot.