End FGM Ambassador and current Miss World Africa Evelyn Njambi shares her experience celebrating the Day of the African Child with school children in Kenya.
It was a warm, bright morning in the Rift Valley plains of Suswa, Narok County. The cheerful spirits of the school children filled the air and I felt right at home. Their smiles and laughter reiterated why we were convening to celebrate them and with them, on that Day of the African Child!
The day kicked off pretty early and we arrived Suswa Primary School at 9 am. From the look of things, it was going to be a good day! The theme for this year’s Day of the African Child was, "Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030”.
But just a brief history of this important day: the Day of the African child has been celebrated on the 16th of June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the organisation of African Unity (OAU). It honours those children who participated in the Soweto uprising in 1976 while fighting for the independence of South Africa. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement in upholding the right of children across Africa.
I was humbled to have celebrated this day with key leaders and stakeholders who play active roles in safeguarding the rights of children in Narok County and beyond. The beautiful children had amazing performances which ranged from poems, songs and dances, with all of them relaying messages that celebrate the fact that they take pride in being African children.
I had a golden opportunity to share something with the children of Suswa and the only way I would have inspired them was by sharing my story. This left them encouraged, motivated and psyched to work even harder in their schoolwork while at the same time create room for their talents. Since their parents were also in attendance, I shared with them the importance of nurturing their children’s talents and in the long haul uplifting the lives of their parents and their immediate communities at large.
My greatest delight though, my biggest dream is to use my title and influence to help vulnerable girls say no to FGM. I want to inspire them to complete their education and achieve their dreams without feeling ostracised for being different and standing up for themselves. This is something I love doing and I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to The Girl Generation for inviting me to speak on such platforms and inspire a girl somewhere to still believe in her career dreams!
The sky was losing its light as the sun set, and I couldn’t believe that the day was coming to an end. On the brighter side though, I made beautiful memories with the children of Suswa and the key leaders of Narok social networks and forums. I can’t wait to have a similar experience in another region which is always made possible by The Girl Generation!