June 16 is International Day of the African Child. It honors those who took part in the Soweto Uprising, a student movement against racial discrimination in South Africa, learn more about the memorable day and see how you can be part of it!

International Day of the African Child

June 16 is International Day of the African Child, an important day representing a wide variety of efforts to support children in Africa, especially those living in poverty.

The memorable date is a time to raise awareness about every child-related topic, from preventing stillbirths in Africa to guarantying adequate health care services and quality education for children in the continent.

This is no regular awareness day, though; it also honors those fallen during racial equality movements in South Africa, particularly the Soweto Uprising, where 20,000 black students rallied to protest not having education alternatives in their native language — they were met with deadly police brutality.

Both the World Health Organization and the Organization of the African Unity, founded in 1991, make important efforts to create better conditions for kids in Africa and work at a governmental level to develop strategies to improve the quality of life in the continent.

You need not live in Africa to take this as a personal matter; we’re all in this together. We can all help improve conditions for children in Africa, whether through the United Nations’ aid efforts or private organizations looking to improve health and education in African countries.

There’s great inequality between how children live in the most vulnerable African communities and first-world countries and reducing the gap should be a global priority. Especially if the children’s lives are on the line, let’s all help and improve African children’s living conditions. That’s the least we can do!

History of International Day of the African Child

The Day of the African Child is celebrated every June 16 since 1991 and was organized by the OAU Organization of African Unity, a global organization established on May 25, 1963, to end neo-colonialism in the African continent.

Through its efforts to “Promoting health through the life-course,” the World Health Organization WHO contributes to the cause helping nations develop strategies to prevent stillbirths and provide better care to women giving birth and children in Africa.

June 16 was chosen to commemorate those fallen during one of the most important civil movements against racial inequity in South Africa, where over 700 students lost their lives. Still, the event’s aftermath led to the creation of many racial equality organizations.

How to Celebrate International Day of the African Child

Raise awareness for the situation of children in Africa and donate to your favorite childcare organization. We can all help protect the world’s children, especially those who need it most.

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