Children in Bamenda like elsewhere in Africa came together June 16, 2017 to observe the Day of the African Child DAC with the theme “2030 Agenda for sustainable Development for children in Africa: accelerating protection, employment and equal opportunities.” 

At commemorative activities in Bamenda, children were literally in tears from one activity to the next. From songs to sketches, the massage was same; respect our rights. As the children named the various rights they demand, education took its position as the key to all the others.
Coming at the time schools have been brought to a near stop point invisible tears could be seen running down the eyes of the innocent children who are losing a fundamental right like access to education.
“Every girl book in the hand! Every girl classroom to learn….dust up her feet and follow her dream! We say no to child abuse, we say girl no to trafficking, we say no to violence! No to corruption! No to bribery! Educate the girl and educate the family, the nation and the world.” a group of girls said in song.
In another song, the children demanded not to be abandoned. “Children have the right to education, children have a right to protection, they have a project and need not to be abandoned until the project is over we are not to be abandoned……..teachers play your role, government play your role, mama papa play your role and make us good leaders. We have a project in this world we need not to be abandoned until the project is over.” Another group stated again in song.
Amongst those present at the event was the Regional Secretary for the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms for the North West Region Chenwi Chrysantus Shu. Quizzed on the respect of children in the region and particularly that of education after listening to the kids with the current context in the NW and SW regions he responded “I think to an extend they are respected because we have national instruments protecting the rights of the child and international instruments but I can tell you that during this period of the strike action in the NW region this fundamental rights of children as to education have been virtually battered and we feel very disserted in the whole thing. We are lamenting on behalf of these children and we are calling on parents not to abandon these children by making sure they protect their rights. As children they are vulnerable we need parents to be at the forefront to foster the rights of these children but instead the parents are the ones drawing back the child for fear of the unknown as to what we are getting but I think that parents are supposed to be at the fore front to protect these children to make sure their rights to education are ensured.”
Awah Jacque Chirac Project Manager of the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities SEEPD program of the Cameroon Baptist Convention 

Health Services CBCHS an organizer of the DAC observance event explaining why organize such an event at this time of socio political upheavals said “The DAC puts the spotlight on the African Child and should for that very reason give African children and opportunity to exploit their full potentials. This year's DAC offered an opportunity for the NWR to move away from traditional ways of commemorating to fully engaging the African Child with the theme. This was done with a view to expose the creativity of the African Child. Worthy of note is the fact that this activity was fully inclusive and gave the African Children with disabilities a fair opportunity.  Life is all about opportunities. CBCHS as an organization has a commitment to keep children safe. This commitment is translated through the work we do on the SEEPD program. Safeguarding children from abuse and protecting them in the event of abuse by offering psycho social support to abused children and their families. Raising awareness on the rights of the child and networking with other stakeholders to offer comprehensive child protection services to children in the northwest region.
As relates the irregular functioning of schools, the project manager added “It’s indeed a violation of the rights of the child. As development partners, we see this as an opportunity to engage the African Child through other aspects of learning such as the contest organized as part of this year's celebration. All winners of the awards will have their talents developed systematically.”
Several children left the event which was also attended by Head of Social, Cultural and Economic affairs division at the NW Governor’s Nji Joseph with cash prizes as winners of a contest organized by an online platform Sisterspeaks237 coordinated by Bamenda based journalist Comfort Mussa with financial assistance from the SEEPD program. Amongst the areas of contest were music, short stories, drawing, and craft.
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or

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