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World Vision Sierra Leone through its Area Development Programme in Lei commemorated The Day of the African Child in the Lei chiefdom, Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone; using their Vision statement as the theme for this year’s celebration which reads: Our Vision for every child, life in all its fullness, our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so. World Vision being a Child-focused organization does not treat with levity, children’s affairs. (Photo: School marching on the Day of the African Child in Kono)
The Lei ADP brought together pupils from three sections: Lei, Sandor and Dia to commemorate the Day of the African Child. This day is set aside not only to reflect on the macabre nature of the killing of innocent children in Soweto in 1967 during a peaceful demonstration on issues affecting them, but also to help them shape their future by addressing their needs and giving them the opportunity to be heard in the society. This celebration was also timed at reminding the children of the importance of this day to them.
The celebration started with a match pass of pupils right across the chiefdom to the Kombayendeh community centre where the pupils, teachers, local rulers and World Vision staff congregated.
Quiz competition was organized for pupils among the three sections. The schools that participated were: Roman Catholic (RC) Primary school Kombayendeh; RC Primary School Tumbidi; RC Primary School Kenema and Kalia Community School. Questions were centred on the Day of the African Child, Child Rights Acts and also on current affairs in order to keep children constantly in touch. This quiz turned out to be a learning process for many who watched their colleagues compete.
Ali S. Koneo, a class-5 pupil of the Roman Catholic (RC) Primary school in Kombayendeh emerged as best quizzer of the competition and said this about the quiz: ‘’I feel happy to have emerged the best quizzer but for the others; I wish they will study hard and do better than I did.’’
Alie also said this about children and education: ‘’we as children would like to be educated but poverty is disturbing us. We would like the leaders of this land to come to our rescue. To our parents I will say encourage us to learn. It is true most of you didn’t have the opportunity of going to school, but that does not mean you should abandon us.’’
The celebration was climaxed with a play from Peer educator group on early marriage. This play focussed on the disadvantages of early marriage. Early marriage has been one of the problems affecting the education of the girl child. Through that play, children were able to speak to their parents to consider sending them to school than giving them away to men only to destroy their future.
Children were given gifts by World Vision Area Development Programme in Lei chiefdom and were fed.
By Saidu Bah
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