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The Soweto Uprising, the Day of the African Child and CHIPAWO children

posted 19 Jun 2011, 13:16 by Robert McLaren
16th June, 1976, was the day on which the Soweto Uprising began, It was a case of the children fearlessly taking on the apartheid state. The Uprising soon spread to other parts of the country and began a chain of resistance which culminated in the coming of democracy to South Africa in 1994. While South Africa commemorates this date as Youth Day, the rest of Africa does so as the Day of the African Child as per the decision of the then Organisation of African Unity, now the African Union. Honouring the children of Soweto for their sacrifices and achievements, the Day of the African Child goes on to provide an opportunity for us to spotlight issues relating to children in Africa, in particular in giving them a chance to raise their voices and express their own views and share their experiences.

CHIPAWO (www.chipawo.org), the Zimbabwean children's and young peoples' arts education organisation, has also designated this day its special day and every year it is celebrated by hundreds of children from its various centres in and around Harare. CHIPAWO's celebrations took place in Harare today (Sunday, 19th June). CHIPAWO's arts education for development and employment programme aims to ensure that our children know and value their own arts and culture and grow up with a firm sense of their identity as Africans.