Today the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa (JPIC) team visited the Global Hope and the Mary Immaculate Rehabilitation Centre both children’s homes to mark the Day of the African Child ahead of the 16th of June 2020.

On 16 June 1976, 3,000-10,000 students in Soweto, South Africa marched to fight for their rights. This powerful action which was brutally repressed by police has since then inspired hundreds of events and actions every year to advocate for children and young people’s rights.

In Kenya, young people have suffered the most from COVID 19 and related restrictions. Apart from the deaths due to the crisis and the shift of economies, young people are not only facing enormous challenges to access to education due to the close of schools but also suffer from police brutality during the enforcement of the curfew.

The UN  theme for this year is “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights”. This theme is relevant to the critical crisis of Covid-19, climate change and locust invasion in the Eastern African Region. Due to this situation, there is a need to empower our young generation to promote justice and tolerance and to equip them with skills and competencies needed as agents of change in our communities, for our planet and for our climate.

During the visit at the children’s homes, the JPIC had a chance to provide the children and patrons with support of food, masks, soap, and more to ensure during this hard time of Covid-19 the kids feel remembered and taken care of. The JPIC team managed to touch the lives of 170 children altogether.

As a follow-up, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in collaboration with Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa and other partners are organizing this Tuesday, June 16th a webinar where youths from different communities will be sharing their experiences during this triple crisis, their role in the fight for climate justice and why children and youth lives matter.