NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND TAKES SIX CHILDREN TO THE AFRICA CHILDREN’S SUMMIT
On Thursday, 13 April 2023, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) returned from Nairobi, Kenya, with six children from South Africa who participated in the inaugural Africa Children’s Summit.
This forum is a continental initiative driven by children from Kenya and sought to give children a platform for participation and to have their voices heard on child-related issues.
CEO of the Fund, Dr Linda Ncube-Nkomo, says the Summit aligns with the organisation’s goals to enhance child participation in decisions that affect them. “Children and young people in South Africa and other parts of the world face a myriad of challenges, including high unemployment, poverty, education inequality, lack of access to mentorship programmes, and a lack of participation in decision-making processes at local to global levels. In this Summit children had the opportunity to raise some of these issues and provide child-led solutions to these challenges. Children did not participate in the Summit; they led every aspect of it in line with the theme of, Sseen.Heard.Engaged”.
The group from South Africa, chosen by the Fund, joined others from the continent and made presentations as well as contributions on the unique challenges they face; interventions by their governments and shared recommendations or solutions.
“This has been great for me. I like the fact that the Summit was planned by us children, we led in the moderation and the writing of the outcome statement at the end,” says Segopotso Marine, one of the child participants from the Fund.
The statement representing summarised views and outcomes from the event will be produced. It will be used to inform deliberations at the African Union and the United Nations Offices that are focused on child rights.
Prof Phillip Jaffer, Vice Chair at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child says, “We have heard the voices of the children of Africa. Not only do they want to be heard and seen but also participate in decision making processes that affect their lives and communities. We will be taking this message as it is to the United Nations”.
Following the event, selected children will participate in the Africa Children’s Committee in Lesotho during the last week of April to the beginning of May 2023 where they will address the expert committee members.
The Fund is also a member of the fifth General Assembly of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Commission (AU-ECOSOCC) and is currently working to obtain an observer status with the AU-African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission).
5/5/2023 12:37:36 am
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