Every year on November 20, UNICEF joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Children’s Day, the day of the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that explains who children are, all their rights, and the responsibilities of governments.
The special day for children also aims at highlighting critical issues affecting children’s lives as well as support the engagement of children and young people as advocates for their own rights.
For the second year now, World Children’s Day will be celebrated during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Declared in 2020, the pandemic has exposed children to various risks like child labor, teenage pregnancies, rape, defilement, and retardation in their education as many children remain out of school and uncertain about tomorrow.
Today, many children and young people live in fear while some believe their dreams will never be realized. In Uganda, for close to 20 months now (as of November 2021), the Covid-19 pandemic has heavily affected the education sector, interrupting normal school programmes for more than 15 million children.
School children from the poorest households, those living in rural areas, children with disabilities and girls have been affected more. Moreover, the uncertainty from school closures has greatly affected children and young people mentally and psychologically.
As the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic continue to linger on, threatening to spread to yet another year, the most important question should be – Is anyone listening to the children and how the pandemic is affecting them?
For that reason this year in Uganda, World Children’s Day will be commemorated through a nationwide children’s contest to give all children and young people in Uganda aged 20 years and below, a platform to share their experiences in form of writing, recording video clips, drawings or photography with short descriptions, highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, on their lives, education, families, and dreams.
The contest launched on 20 August was closed on 20 October 2021. The contest attracted over 300 entries across the country from the five regions – North, West, South West, Central and East.