In June of 2020, Real Provencher asked members to give enough money to raise $200 to support an annual event in Sierra Leone called "The Day of the Child". The photo above is from the report of that event in Sierra Leone.
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the OAU (Organization of African Unity). It honors children/pupils who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976.
In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting for the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of whom being Hector Peterson. More than a hundred people were killed in two weeks of the protest, and more than a thousand were injured. On June 16th every year, governments, NGOs, international organizations, and other stakeholders gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realization of the rights of children in Africa. Sierra Leone has joined the world to commemorate the
death of those children. It is also a day to raise awareness and to advocate on burning issues that hindered the welfare and the development of children and also educates and entertains them.

With many children’s programs including school activities closed during this global pandemic in Sierra Leone, many children have to switch to old ways of learning and playing, but what happened to children who live in poor and most vulnerable communities with no access to child friendly space? It’s a fundamental right from the Child Right Act of 2007, the Africa Charter on the Right and Welfare of Children and the UN Convention on the Right of Children, for children to grow up in a safe and protective environment free from harms or dangers, children should play and interact with one another even though playing games with friends in large groups is sadly not safe for children. They are stuck inside but doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have fun and play with one another.

It is on this background that the Young People Advocacy Network and its partners, Rotary International, Defence for International Sierra Leone, Women against Inhumanity Sierra Leone, Girls 2 Girls Empowerment Movement and Alimku Foundation and Change for Self Esteem. Join the government to commemorate this year’s Day of The African Child on June 16th, at Six (6) Mile Community together with the August 17th Mudslide Victims.

The commemoration was climaxed with statements from different speakers, who gave inspirational speechs to allay the fear of youths, adolescent and children on issues threatening their daily lives. And the program was followed by the distribution of play toys and food items to the kids to mark the day of the African Child June 16th a memorable one.

This was followed by a life skill sessions for youth, parent and caregiver. Several topics were facilitated by different inspirational speakers and youth ambassadors on the theme of the program and other subsequent topics. After the sessions YPAN Donated clothes to parents, caregivers, and youths to mark the DAC.

The program was chaired by Allieu Mamadu Bah, the communication officer for Young People Advocacy Network. In his opening remarks, he thanked the partners who support YPAN to reach the people of 6-mile community and also thanked parents for taking care of their children during this global pandemic. Child friendly justice starts at home. Parents should support and take care of their children at all times and equal justice should be served at home. He urges parents and caregivers to also take good care of children belonging to another parent.

The first speaker was Paulina Hannah Bangura who made a presentation on the theme: Access to Child Friendly Justice system in Sierra Leon. Her discussion was based on the human right violations which children are facing in most vulnerable and deprived communities.

This was followed by statement by the founder and executive direct of Young People Advocacy Network, Mr. Mohamed Kunta, who spoke on good parenting and care giving. He further discussed the significance of the day of the African child and ended with the importance of this year’s theme.

Mrs. Fatima Sesay- Sierra Leone finest feminist and youth advocate for women and adolescent girls, talked about how women and adolescent girls can maintain and protect themselves from sexual harassment and teenage pregnancy in sierra Leone especially during this pandemic.

Mr. Tejan Kargbo, the program manager for Young People Advocacy Network, was pleased to witness the event. His presentation was dialogue between the participants on how parents can control and save their children during this global pandemic in Sierra Leone. He further advised parents to be keen about matters of abuse and exploitation towards their children. He concluded by talking about sexual and gender-based violence and highlighted parents on key steps and policies in reporting cases of the said act.

The ceremony ended with the distributions of cloth to residents at the 6 mile community.
Additional photos from the event can be seen below: