Pupils of the Baumgartsbrunn Primary School on Monday had the time of their lives with celebration of the Day of the Namibian at the school.
Themed, “25 years after the adoption of the African children’s charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriages in Africa” the celebration ensured learners enjoyed a variety of entertainment in the form of drama, dancing performances, reading of poems, jumping castles and water slides. Junior members of the children’s parliament, government officials, teachers, parents and pupils of the schools expressed their views on the theme and the influence child marriage has on children. Lazarus Pastwana, a Grade 4 learner at the school appreciated the day using the opportunity to raise some of challenges the pupils at the school go through daily making them hopeless and to be proud Namibian children.
“I’m happy our school was chosen to host today’s celebration but there are still things that concern us, not only at school but also at home. Things that are supposed to define this day but we are faced with a lot of challenges and we need solutions,” says Pastwana. Another learner, Celeste Garises, says the celebration is a good way to remind adults of the status of children. “This doesn’t happen every day whereby all the focus is on us and our problems or challenges. I’m happy this day is a reminder to our parents, teachers and communities to look out for us and make sure we are harmless and protected. The theme sets a good example on how to start,” says Garises.
The Chief Whip of the Children’s Parliament, Norman Ndeuyeeka, called on traditional leaders and parents to stop child marriage and allow children to enjoy their childhood. “Parents are giving their children away to sustain themselves because of their financial status but [they are] not health conscious. Let the children enjoy the childhood they deserve.”
Ingrid Cupido, a children’s Advocate in the Office of Ombudsman encourages children to know what their rights are and exercise them. “Children of Namibia, you are children of this soil and you have the rights to education, health, liberty, to make a choice whom you want to marry and when you want to do it-and this should not be taken away from you.”
“Make you sure that you know your rights but also your responsibilities to make sure that you bring your side and to ensure that one day you can say that I have made the best of this one life that was given to me. Keep an eye on what government is doing to make sure your rights are protected,” says Cupido.
The Day of the Namibian Child was launched on 26 June 2000 by the Founding Father of the Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma. The day of the Namibian Child is ever since celebrated on an annual basis on the 28 September nationwide with children’s participation at heart.
The event was made possible by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, in collaboration with UNICEF.