Longido — LONGIDO District has witnessed a significant stride in child protection and empowerment with the implementation of the Walinde Waendelee project.
The project, a collaborative effort between the Community and Social Education Empowerment (CASEE) and Child Fund Korea, aims to safeguard the rights and well- being of children in the area.
As the community commemorated the International Day of the African Child on Friday, Ms Wivini Mtende, an Education and Child Protection Officer from CASEE, highlighted the positive impact of the project.
“We have every reason to be proud of this day as we have seen remarkable impact of the Walinde Waendelee project,” Ms Mtende stated.
As part of the comprehensive child protection strategy, CASEE and Child Fund Korea have constructed a safe house for the most vulnerable children from pastoralist families.
The safe house aims to provide a secure environment for children at risk of violence during their holidays.
According to Ms Mtende, the safe house is purposefully built to accommodate children who are most vulnerable to being forced into abandoning education and engaging in cattle herding during holidays.
“It shelters children from Buguruni, Tingatinga, Namanga, and Ngereyani villages, offering them a respite from potential harm,” she insisted.
The collaboration between CASEE, Child Fund Korea, and local stakeholders highlights the importance of protecting children.
She added: “It is the duty of each one of us to come to the rescue of our girls and boys and pave the way for a brighter future.”
Recognising the ever-growing significance of the digital world, the initiative aims to empower children to play an active role in the evolving digital landscape.
For her part, a Social Welfare Officer in Longido District, Ms Atuganile Chisunga, affirmed the positive impact of the project on education.
She noted that a significant majority, more than 70 per cent of children in Longido now have access to schools and are able to complete their studies.
However, Ms Chisunga expressed concern regarding a new trend in the area where children are being taken across the border to the neighbouring Kenya to work as watchmen.
“We strongly oppose such a practice, as it denies them their right to education,” she said.
Earlier on, Paskalina Ismail, a student from Namanga Primary School, expressed her gratitude for the Walinde Waendelee project, acknowledging its crucial role in ensuring their safety.
“This is a very important day for children to mark, as it reminds the community about children’s right to be protected,” she emphasised.
The Walinde Waendelee project continues to make significant strides in safeguarding the welfare and future prospects of children in Longido District.
With the collaborative efforts of CASEE, Child Fund Korea, and local stakeholders, the initiative serves as a beacon of hope, empowering children and advocating for their rights in the area.
The International Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
It honours those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.