Walvis Bay will welcome about 100 children from Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana for this year’s World Children’s Day celebrations.
The children are expected to arrive at the coastal town on Friday, and will attend a gala dinner featuring a special performance by the children of the Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre and South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
They will also enjoy a morning parade through the town’s main road on Saturday and participate in discussing topics like learning crises, digital platforms for learning, and climate change, among others.
The discussions can also be followed on digital platforms.
The main event will take place on Sunday, during which the children will be able to engage with the presidents of the four countries after returning from excursions around Walvis Bay.
Samuel Ocran, the representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) to Namibia, on Monday said the participating children were selected from different constituencies.
“We want inclusion, and thus need representation from each region’s constituencies. We do not want to leave anyone behind. In Namibia, our main focus is on disability. That is why we will have the children from the Sunshine Centre, which provides services to people with disabilities.
“They have been neglected for far too long. The actual day is celebrated on 20 November, but we do not want to take children out of school,” he said.
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes says the town has been attracting a lot of attention, especially internationally.
“We are very excited to see our children being represented and shown how important they are to society. We were informed earlier this year that Walvis Bay was chosen for the event.
“Representatives from Unicef and the municipality collaborated on planning for the event. We are looking forward to hosting more events. Not long ago, we hosted the queen’s baton. Remarkable events are coming to this town, not only for investments, but for such events. We are recognised internationally, and it is benefiting everybody,” he says.
The day is celebrated by governments around the world to mark achievements regarding children’s rights, to highlight critical issues affecting children’s lives and to support the engagement of children and young people as advocates for their own rights.
This year’s celebrations will build on the momentum created in Botswana in 2021 and Zambia in 2022 during regional engagements which involved the presidents of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and more than 500 children from the four countries.
The presidents made a commitment to create a network to continue discussing issues of mutual concern and come up with tangible strategies to address the rights of children in their respective countries.
They will thus have an opportunity to renew their promises regarding children’s rights, rescuing Sustainable Development Goals, and ensuring that no child is left behind.
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