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Pupils to parents: protect girls’ rights, stop mistreatment of children

By Eddie Ssejjoba

Added 11th April 2019 06:31 PM

In a moving prayer, led by Isaac Wasajja, Primary Six Bright, the children prayed for themselves and their fellow children throughout the country for the Lord to save them from harsh treatment by mainly their own parents.

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Pupils of Mother-Care Preparatory School, Bunamwanya takes part in a three-kilometer walk with placards calling on the public to respect their rights. Photos by Eddie Ssejjoba

In a moving prayer, led by Isaac Wasajja, Primary Six Bright, the children prayed for themselves and their fellow children throughout the country for the Lord to save them from harsh treatment by mainly their own parents.

KAMPALA - Oh Lord, we pray that parents stop mistreating children and violating their rights and we pray that our parents stop forcing their daughters into early marriages.  Oh Lord, may you grant wisdom to parents who deny children education and those who force them into hard labour.  
 
Those were sounds of the pupils of Mother-Care Preparatory School, in Bunamwaya, a suburb of Kampala who settled down for prayer after taking part in a three-kilometer walk intended to raise their voices against acts of injustice on children.
 
  policeman leads the pupils A policeman leads the pupils

 
In a moving prayer, led by Isaac Wasajja, Primary Six Bright, the children prayed for themselves and their fellow children throughout the country for the Lord to save them from harsh treatment by mainly their own parents.

 
“It bothers us so much when we witness our fellow children in our localities, especially in the markets and trading centres being burdened by their own parents to sell items like food at night to get school fees, while others are given heavy work,” Wasajja later remarked.
 
 upils of other care reparatory chool unamwanya show their palcards after taking part in a threekilometer walk with placarsd calling on the public to respect their rights Pupils display their placards after taking part in a three-kilometer walk 

He said as children, they wish to inform parents to learn the value of children’s rights and stop all the atrocities against them. 
 
Hadasa Kirabo, in Primary Six who read out the children’s memo stated that many of their fellow children have been pulled out of school and forced into marriage to become parents at a tender age, which she said denies them proper education.
 
“We don’t know why most of these violations are against the girls,” she said.
 
According to Kirabo, they have been advocating for the rights of children with disabilities too, saying they were God’s creation and deserved good care and mercy. She, therefore, appealed to everyone to stop discrimination against such children. 
 
 he school director dith serukenya and head teacher suman kedi addressing children about their rights The school director, Edith Sserukenya and head teacher Asuman Okedi addressing children about their rights

 

During the walk, through the dusty roads led by the school band, children who were accompanied by the police and their teachers carried placards and waved them to everyone, asking everyone to respect and protect their rights.   
 
The walk was organized to commemorate the “Round the Globe Run for a Better World”, which was commemorated worldwide on April 1.
 
The Children, through their school Child Rights Club, which is linked to the World’s Children’s Prize programme have been learning about the Global Goals and how they themselves can make a difference for a better world. 
Gertrude Rose Gamwera, the Secretary General of the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) is the local coordinator of the World Children’s Prize and has been spreading it in schools. 
 
She said that through the ‘Round the Globe Run for a Better World’, which highlights Goal five for equal rights for girls and greater gender equality, changes children want to see in support of children’s rights and the Global Sustainable Development Goals are highlighted.
 
 “The children are focusing in particular, on equal rights for girls and reducing poverty and inequality,” she said. 
 
 upils prayering after taking part in a threekilometer walk Pupils praying after taking part in a three-kilometer walk

 

Bernard Mwoyo, the Child Rights Club patron and a teacher at Mother-Care Preparatory School said ever since they started training and counseling the children, many have opened up and spoken against abuse of their rights and their fellow children.
 
Several children, according to Mwoyo, have spoken against too much work at home especially by their stepmothers. 
 
He explained that the majority of them complain about corporal punishments both at home and at school, parents forcing their children into labour to get school fees and scholastic materials, among others.
 
“Some time back teachers here used to beat children but when we intensified our training, the children participated in advocating against it and it is no more,” he stated.  
 
 emimah ankabirwa reading a childrens memo about their rights Jemimah Nankabirwa reading a children's memo about their rights

 

He said members meet once a month and give reports of what they collect from fellow children, but where it calls for immediate attention they notify him. 
 
He said members are also given a chance to address fellow pupils during school assemblies about their rights and encouraging them to open up and report any sort of abuse.  
 
The school directors, Edith Sserukenya and head teacher, Asuman Okedi attended the function and asked the children to be the school ambassadors by spreading the message about respect for children’s rights. 
 
“If anyone abuses your rights or witness a child’s rights being violated, walk to the nearest police station or post, to the school administration and report the case,” Okedi stated.         

 

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