International Children’s Day celebrated


CHILDREN from schools and communities around Honiara gathered at the Multi-purpose Hall, Lawson Tama to mark the International Children’s Day yesterday under the theme “Safe Environment, Happy Children, Bright Future”

The focus of the event was on improving children well-being, promoting and celebrating children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness among children.

In his key note address, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), Dr. Cedrick Alependava said it is vital to protect our children as they are vulnerable at a young age.

“It is important that we strive to provide safe and supportive environments for them in the early years of life to grow perfectly into adulthood” Dr. Alependava said.

He continued “This should be a priority in the family context, in early childhood care and education, and in our community as a whole. A safe and supportive environment is a setting in which all children can feel socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically safe and feel that they are valued, and that would make them happy. These are essential elements that will boost them to be happy and their future would be a bright one, as well as full of excitement” Dr. Alependava added.

Dr. Alependava also thanked various government ministries, churches and stakeholders for the support they have invested towards providing education, and creating a safe and good environment for our children to learn.

A student from Honiara Integrated Community High School, Kaylah Leafasia said children despite not fully understanding progress done at the highest level, they are the ones experiencing the reality.

“The truth is we children do not understand policies and strategies, we do not understand the big, hard words and the many pages. All we know is the reality that we are living, the experiences we are feeling, the support and services available to us and who made us feel protected, important and wanted” Miss Leafasia said.

She said children want more support from the government and stakeholders to continue to protect and support them in education and health so that they could have a better future.

The event continued with entertainments, fun filled activities such as face painting, drawing and many more provided by various stakeholders.

More than five schools participated in this year’s event including students from the Special Development Centre (SDC), a school for children with special needs operated by the Solomon Islands Red Cross.

The day is initially celebrated on the 20th of November annually however MWYCFA and other stakeholders held the event yesterday as the initial day coincides with the Pacific Games and schools are already closed down.

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