The digital era provides children with platforms to exercise their rights through learning, producing digital content, making online friends, acquiring new skills and expressing themselves. Unfortunately, many children in Africa do not have access to these digital technologies hence lag behind when compared to children from other continents. For those who access, there is a greater risk of them being preyed online by cyber bullies, accessing inappropriate content or being lured into online scams and gangs. This calls for concerted efforts to sensitize children, parents, government and other stakeholders on the need to provide access to safe digital environments for the African Child.
It’s against this backdrop that Saint Martin’s Community Programme for Children in Need in collaboration with other Charitable Children Institutions, the Directorate of Children Services, the Ministry of Education and 21 public primary schools from Salama and Igwamiti Zones in Nyahururu Sub County marked the day in pomp and color. To ensure child participation in the celebrations, children through their children government leaders with guidance from their teacher patrons and matrons were involved in the planning and execution of the celebrations. Using songs, skits, placards, processions, speeches and dances, children sensitized each other about the uses of technology, the risks posed by technologies and how they can stay safe.
“We are grateful today to have celebrated the Day of the African Child for the first time in Salama Zone. We have danced a lot and learnt about how to stay safe online and how we can use digital technologies safely.” Deputy Chairperson, Salama Zone Children Government.
Let’s strive to create a safe digital environment for our children. Online safety begins with us.