Day 15: Day of the African Child

This day raises awareness for the situation of children in Africa, the theme for this year’s event is “The Rights of Children with Disabilities”. Generally, children with disabilities are hidden in Africa, but today it was THEIR day.

Early in the morning the Child Africa Brass Band and all the kids nicely dressed in uniform were ready for the parade. All the teachers and staff members ordered a white polo shirt, with the Child Africa logo on the front and “We make a difference” slogan on the back.  Almost all junior schools and child focused organizations of Kabale joined the parade at the station. Everyone received paper hats “Celebrating the day of the African Child 2012”.

Our school’s brass band was the leader of the parade, we marched around the city and ended at the football stadium where a ceremony took place. There was a lot of talking and speeches in the local language, luckily the sun was shining so I could “daydream” a bit. More interesting were the shows, each school performed a dance or read a poem, which highlighted the disabled children. Blind, deaf, deaf-mute children performed as well, it was very touching to see and hear the words they spoke.

At a certain point a street boy suddenly took over the microphone and started talking in the local language. People explained me that he said that he’s disabled too, he doesn’t have any shoes and he can’t afford to pay school fees. When Julie heard what the boy’s story, she ran up to him and promised him to buy a pair of shoes, if I understood everything correctly she even invited him to join the Child Africa school. Isn’t that wonderful?!

Today I also did a (little) good cause: yesterday I saw that one of the children, Catherine, was having troubles with her schoolbag. I tried to repair it, but the zipper was broken, her schoolbooks fell out each time. I promised her to buy a new backpack, which I did today. You should have seen her happiness when I gave the present, she was even going to sit on her knees in front of me, of course I quickly lifted her up again. That would only have made me burst out in tears 😉 .

Tomorrow I will be in her class P2, let’s see whether those kids listen to “teacher Larissa” :)!