Zimbabwe celebrates World Children's Day in style
There was song and dance. Food and celebrations, but also a dialogue that ended with a call for an inclusive society where the rights of all children are respected
In Zimbabwe, hard on the heels of the Regional World Children’s Day commemorations, the National Arts Gallery, home to Zimbabwe's contemporary art and visual heritage, was buzzing. Ministers, The Vice President of Zimbabwe, Constantino Chiwenga, Diplomats, children from all over the country, members of the UN and partners chattered excitedly about the day ahead.
Along Julius Nyerere Street, where the iconic National Arts Gallery stands like a colossus, people witnessed the building lit up in BLUE, creating an illuminating colourful night that blended well with the World Children’s Day smiles. Blue illuminated the surrounding building, much to the joy of onlookers.
It was reminiscent of the lighting of Victoria Falls Bridge last year.
There was song and dance, food and celebrations, but also a dialogue that ended with a call for an inclusive society where the rights of all children are respected, including children with disabilities. Several consultations with children around the country, including children with disabilities, led to the appeal of the children of Zimbabwe for an inclusive country.
Constantino Chiwenga, The Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, had this to say: “An inclusive society where all children, including those living with disabilities, have their rights respected as equals.”
Former child president Hazel Mandaza took people through her journey before finishing strongly: “Involve children in issues that concern them.”
Child Speaker of Parliament Monalisa Mwoyoweshumba challenged policymakers to enact policies and infrastructure that cater for the needs of children with disabilities as well.
Speaking passionately and with conviction, UNICEF Zimbabwe Representative Tajudeen Oyewale said: “Where the rights of all children are respected, children with disabilities have the same rights as all other children.”
The curtain came down amid pomp and fanfare, and the highlight was the mural, a creative giant born out of ideas by children for children, that carried a message to the policymakers, government, diplomats and the country: “#ForEveryChild, inclusion!”