By Kennedy Eberechi.
Children’s Day is a commemorative date celebrated annually in honor of children; its date of observance varies by country. In 1925, International Children’s Day was first proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare.
Since then, it is celebrated on June 1 in most countries. A similar event; Universal Children’s Day, falls on 20 November, which established by the United Nations in 1954 and aims to promote the welfare of children around the world.
In Nigeria, Children’s day is annually observed on May 27, aimed at raising public awareness of problems, that children face. The holiday is celebrated by government and non-governmental organizations during when Children from primary and secondary schools have a day off.
Against this backdrop and in an effort to re-commit to putting children first, the current holder of the Face of Middle-Belt, Nigeria; Queen Mimidoo Uhundu has called on stakeholders and government at all levels to take proactive steps at solving the problems connected with children’s rights violations and imperfect system of education, by coming up with programmes and policies that would promote the rights and education of the children.
Queen Mimidoo Uhundu, in a statement ahead of the 2020 Children’s day informed that Nigerian children must be given all the necessary care and attention, especially quality education, which they require to attain their goals in life.
“About 42% of the Nigerian population are children and 1/3 of children aged from 6 to 14 don’t go to schools. Many children leave schools for different purposes and children’s rights are often violated. Unfortunately, the government of Nigeria do not make much to solve the problems connected with children’s right violation and imperfect system of education”, Miss Uhundu revealed.
Continuing, the Queen, who is so passionate about the vulnerable with particular interest in women and children, noted that in support of the age-long adage that “investing in our children means investing in our future”; concerted efforts must be done by all well-meaning Nigerians to achieve a better tomorrow for Nigerian children.
Furthermore, Queen Mimidoo assured that she would always advocate the course of the Nigerian children because they have a lot of potentials that must be carefully harnessed through good education and training.
“The actions or inactions of stakeholders and government impact more on children than any other group in the society. The healthy development of children is crucial to the future wellbeing of any society such as ours. This is because, the children are still developing and are more vulnerable to poor living conditions such as poverty, inadequate healthcare, nutrition, safe water, housing and environmental pollution”, she explained.
While noting that the country cannot set aside May 27 every year to celebrate her children without taking decisive action to better their lives, Queen Mimidoo stated that all policies, including legislative framework, must be put in place to give qualitative education to Nigerian children so as to reduce the number of out-of-school children.
Conclusively, Queen Mimidoo Uhundu called on parents to be responsible and responsive in taking good care and training of their children so that the country would be better in future.
All around the world, children are showing us their strength and leadership, advocating for a more sustainable world for all. It is therefore another defining historical moment of realism, of promoting, protecting, and fulfilling the Child’s rights for a better tomorrow. Today’s decisions have got far reaching implications for our future, both as individuals and as a Nation.