Whiz kid unravels day of the African child

For fifteen year old Maud Chifamba, the youngest university student in Africa yesterday was a significant day on the continent. “It is a day that reminds us that the key to our continent’s sustainable future will happen through a new set of eyes, eyes with a transformed view of the African child. To quote a wise one: it is better and easier to build children than repair them. Thus today is a significant day on the continent,” so she says.

Maud Chifamba
Maud Chifamba

Indeed yesterday was that day of the year that brings the fifty-four nations of Africa, from Cape to Cairo, together to celebrate the Day of the African Child. The Day aims at raising awareness for the situation of children in Africa and on the need for continuing improvement in education. It also encourages people’s spirit of abundance to share something with a child of Africa. This year, the Day is being celebrated under the theme: “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa.”

“To the children of Zimbabwe I would like to say we have a lot of work to do, a lot of dreams to fulfill and must be even more determined to conquer challenges before us, including the stereotype that the world has of Africa. We must strive to make both our country and thereby our continent better everyday in every way possible,” says Chifamba, who scooped the Panel Choice Award at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards, a couple of days ago.

Chifamba has been using her story to inspire different people around the world. “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say: because of you, I didn’t quit.”

The Day of the African Child, in Zimbabwe, also comes at a time when we are experiencing shocking incidences of child abuse. Recently the First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, called for those who sexually abuse children to be punished severely or be hanged, citing an incident where a five year old girl from Gokwe had to be removed her uterus by doctors after being sexually abused by an uncle.

Section 19 of the constitution says tat the state must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children, the best interests of the children concerned are paramount. It also calls for the protection of children from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse and to ensure that they have access to appropriate education and training.

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