Celebration of the Day of the African Child, Compassion International wants the voice of children to be heard.
©AfreePress- (26, june 2018)- The Christian NGO Compassion International Togo did not remain on the sidelines of the celebration of the International Day of the African Child, a day commemorated on June 16 of each year.
At the Eli Palace Hotel in Adidogomé, Compassion and its partner churches met for a conference to reflect on children’s development and especially on their perfect integration into the society. The theme that has attracted the attention of project leaders, pastors and leaders of churches and young people from the town of Lome and its surroundings was; "Children’s right to participation: let children be seen and heard".
One after the other, the speakers invited the audience to integrate children in all decisions that concern them so that they too bring their ideas and opinions to the construction of the community.
Mrs. Bénédicte Gnansa, director of special education opened the floor with the global theme of the Day. In her plea, she emphasized the on cultural traits that favor the contempt of children and undermine their right to participation. Children's point of view must be taken into account. This participation, she says, depends entirely on the maturity of the child and the subjects on which he must intervene. In her conclusion, she strongly highlighted the importance of family collaboration, which remains the anchor for children’s expression.
The second theme discussed was: "The right to the participation of children: let children be seen and heard in the family." The debates were led by Reverend Pastor Elie N. of Adjololo Bon Berger Baptist Church, one of Compassion International TOGO’s partners present at the event. After defining the roles and responsibilities of parents in the participation of children in family life, he returned to some major facts that block the participation of children such as mistreatment, bodily and verbal abuses, terrorization and more. "I would like to encourage all the parents here to talk to their children. When you make of your children your friends, they will have no trouble sharing their heart with you, "he hammered throughout his sharing.
The last and final part of the conference was led by an eighteen-year-old boy from a Compassion Center in the person of Emmanuel Adedze, a first year law student at the University of Lomé. He came back on the importance of children participation in the project activities and especially the reason why it’s so capital to take into account their points of view. The different programs and activities in the centers must take into account the deep aspiration of the children who go there for a better development.
Dr. Jacques Toko, Compassion's Child Protection Officer, concluded with these words: "We want all children's to be given a chance to express themselves because they have good thoughts to share too".
Compassion International Togo has been working in Togo since 2008 and currently has 215 partner churches for more than 54,000 children in its holistic development program.
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