Saturday October 19, 2019

ABUJA Mega Picnic 4SJ

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Children's Day is celebrated on 27th May inNigeria. It is a public holiday for Primary and Secondary school children. Due to the large size of the country, only few groups of children (schools or any other organisation) are selected to march past in a parade. The children are usually given treats such as an outing or doing jobs that adults would normally do. In some situations, primary and secondary school children compete in military parades format for a prize which will be given at the end of the competition. Religious groups in Nigeria also celebrate children's day in grand style. Many private and public organisations usually put together children's parties and/or events for privileged and less privileged children in a bid to give them a sense of belonging. It is also a day media organisations analyse the plight of children in the society and efforts government and non-government agencies make to better the lot of children. This is where the role of Amber Alert 4 Social Justice* (AA4SJ) becomes relevant.


In commemoration of this years’ Children Day and in line with AA4SJ mandate, the Abuja Mega Picnic tagged “Protect the Child” on the 28th May 2016, at Millennium Park, Abuja was instituted to encourage and bring joy to all children by drawing the society’s attention to key issues faced by children nationally. It was a project specifically aimed at highlighting injustice & abuses done to children and to advocate on Child Rights and protecting those rights. The fact that children are the future and leaders of tomorrow is not just a cliché, but a statement of fact; which is why AA4SJ sees issues bordering on children care, welfare and protection as mandatory and important.


Many activities which took place at the picnic ranged from dance, live performances, competitions, spoken word/poetry, school art exhibition many other games for both the children & adults.

One of the highlights was the sack race, a unique race that saw adults racing to rescue children that were being battered and abused. The role play was acted out by children while the abusers were acted by UniAbuja Law Clinic students. During the race, the adults were urged to race against all odds and resistance to rescue a child.


Children competed in Poetry and art exhibition. Through the art works these children showcased issues on child rights. The art and poetry for children was supported by CULTURE CODE and Eurasia that promotes art development and cultural exchange programmes for children.


There were also dance competitions between adults and children, choreographed by Krump Dance Studios. This event was to highlight the right to expression for children and dance as a medium to depict different issues on child rights such as sexual abuse and violations.


The event also featured artist such as Frankie Walter, Isomers, Terry Tha Rapman and Asheazi, poets such as Jude Ifesemen, Rudolph, BrainBox alongside new acts like DopeDanceCrew who through songs and poems expressed the rights of children and supported the event as a way of charitable giving to the campaign.


AA4SJ feels the Nigerian government, parents/guardian and society should be committed to the welfare of children through the provision of qualitative education, safe home & environment, participation in decision making, and recreational facilities that are fit & proper for their development, amongst other rights of children. However, the children were challenged to be worthy ambassadors of the nation, imbibe good virtues and embrace education, which is the solid foundation upon which the children could build their future.


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