UGANDA URGED TO INVEST MORE ON CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AS ITS POPULATION UNDER 15 YEARS OLD REACH 50%

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School children performing during the celebration of the African Child Day

“Nearly half of Uganda’s population is now under 15 years old. A prosperous future for Uganda will not be possible without greater investment in all of its children’s development and wellbeing, so they can fulfill their potential. Together we can, and must, ensure that no child is left behind”

“Every child in Uganda has the right to survival, food and nutrition, health and shelter; to be educated; and to live safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation. This report shows Uganda has made some significant improvements in ensuring children’s rights, millions of Ugandan children are still left behind”

“You don’t have the right to sleep up to ten in the morning; you don’t have the right to refuse to go to school. Be obedient and listen to your parents and teachers. If you don’t go to school, then you will be a slave of others in your own community”

GULU-UGANDA: An InternationalNon-Governmental Organization (NGO), Save the Children, has made a passionate appeal to the government of Dictator Mr. Yoweri Museveni, for greater investment in children’s development and wellbeing since a prosperous future will not be possible without them (children).

“Nearly half of Uganda’s population is now under 15 years old. A prosperous future for Uganda will not be possible without greater investment in all of its children’s development and wellbeing, so they can fulfill their potential. Together we can, and must, ensure that no child is left behind”, says Save the Children.

The NGO made this appeal in a report unveiled during celebrations to commemorate the Day of the African Child held under the theme: “Leave no Child behind for Africa’s development” at Kaunda Ground, in Gulu City, northern Uganda on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

This day has been celebrated throughout the African continent since 1991 when the Organization of African Unity (OAU), later renamed African Union (AU) initiated it; to remember the now famous Soweto (a black township in Apartheid South Africa) uprising in 1976, where more than one hundred black school children were massacred and over one thousands injured.

Save the Children releases its annual global End of Childhood Index, taking a hard look at the events that rob children of their childhoods and prevent reaching their full potential.

“Every child in Uganda has the right to survival, food and nutrition, health and shelter; to be educated; and to live safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation. This report shows Uganda has made some significant improvements in ensuring children’s rights, millions of Ugandan children are still left behind”, the report says.

Lost childhoods are increasingly concentrated among the poorest children and the parts of the country where poverty is highest and access to services is lowest. Many of these children are missing out on childhood because they are denied a fair start in life. The children from the poorest households experience the worst health, struggle to access decent education, and are more likely to have to work or be married young.

Although government has made significant progress in the health sector, many children still do not have adequate access to health care. One in four families cannot afford to visit a health facility or buy medication for sick children. In West Nile sub-region for instance, where there has been a massive influx of refugees, 80% (percent) of children there do not have appropriate access to healthcare.

Speaking as ‘Guest of Honor’, Master Griffins Lubangakene, a primary five pupil of Bright Valley Schools, called on African leaders to stop trafficking of children at high risk.

He says such children includes orphaned children, children from poor households, children out of school, children who live on the streets, children with low formal education, children living in violent households and children from separated parents.

He noted with concern, children who had to live in conflict situations in northern Uganda, where the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion meted untold suffering for over twenty years, and in Western Uganda, where the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) operated.

“Children in conflict situations are another set of children that seem to have been left behind. Conflict in the north and west of the country had enormous impact on children’s lives. Over the past 20 years, the LRA and the ADF carried out widespread sexual and physical violence, particularly against women and girls”, says Griffins.

The Deputy Mayor of Gulu city, Ms. Pauline Lukwayi, appealed to government to recruit more teachers to reduce teacher: pupil ration and to make sure that no child is left behind.

Ms. Rose Amono Abili, the District Secretary OF Education, Health and Social Services, promised that as Gulu district, they will continue to support the cause of children, especially the most vulnerable ones. She appealed to the children not to abuse their rights but to be focused in school.

“You don’t have the right to sleep up to ten in the morning; you don’t have the right to refuse to go to school. Be obedient and listen to your parents and teachers. If you don’t go to school, then you will be a slave of others in your own community”, says Ms. Abili.

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