Annually observed on the 27th of May, Children’s Day in Nigeria is a day devoted to celebrate childhood and promote awareness about children’s welfare.
Observance of Children’s Day in Nigeria is aimed to raise public awareness of problems, which are faced by children.
About 42% of the Nigerian population are children and 1/3 of children aged from 6 to 14 do not go to schools. Many children leave schools for different purposes and children’s rights are often violated. Unfortunately, the Nigerian government are not investing much to solve the problems connected with children’s right violation and flawed system of education.
On Children’s Day 2016, Galaxy4Peace, led by Precious Ajunwa, issued a call to action for accessible education, better-quality health, and adequate security for all Nigeria’s children, most particularly those living in the slum zones like Araromi Community area of Ajegunle and conflict-afflicted regions as Borno in Nigeria.
Sharing her views with stakeholders at Araromi community during the Children’s Day Fun fair powered by the organization together with Dreams from the Slum, One African Child: “It is common knowledge that children are the future of every country. However, they are the future of a great nation only if given a solid foundation as an unconstrained access to education, adequate health care, good living and security, as these are essential building blocks of sustainable peace on which a better society can be built. The direction of a nation consequently can be appraised by the importance that nation places on its children and youths” she stressed.
According to UNICEF (2013), the poorest children are four and a half times more likely than the richest to be deprived of primary schooling in SubSaharan Africa, with an estimated 15% of the world’s children engaged in child labour that blocks their right to protection from economic exploitation and infringes on their right to learn and play.
Committed to upholding child rights and protecting children from all forms of violence, mistreatment, Galaxy4Peace has facilitated various advocacy and grassroots interventions with the aim of ending violation of child right.
In Nigeria kids are faced with many challenges on a daily basis, picking from the CIA Fact Book, 42 percent of Nigeria’s more than 138 million residents are children. 70% of them live below the poverty line; in addition to experiencing very high infant mortality rate of 93.93 per 1000 births (as compares to 6.3/1000 in the United States).
As shown by research, married children, who live within the context of poverty and gender inequality, have inadequate social support due to isolation, restricted educational attainment, increased infant and maternal mortality, and lack of viable skills for the labour market (UNFPA 2004).
However, in all of these education is a key protective factor against child marriage and the abuse of child rights. In light of the recent events in Nigeria, it is palpable that education and security are of vital importance to ensuring that all children can safely exercise their right to education and development.
Galaxy4Peace also continues to stress the importance of women and peace, through their active role in peacebuilding participation in their homes, communities hence leads to achieving SDGs 16.
On Children’s Day 2016, Precious Ajunwa, the organization’s Co-Founder & Program Director further share, “…we look forward to collaborate with a broad range of partners in making our high ambitions for education a success, and to make sure we interlink with the other areas of the sustainable development agenda for sustainable peace.