International Day of the Street Child 2017
Retrak and our partners marked International Day of the Street Child by refusing to take children being forced to live on the streets lying down. As a member of the Consortium for Street Children, Retrak joined the call for people to stand with street children by pledging support, through influence, expertise, investment of time or resources to ensure the UN General Comment on Children in Street Situations reaches its potential to transform the lives of street-connected children around the world.
In Malawi, our partner Chisomo Children’s Club organised a huge march through the streets of Lilongwe to raise awareness for children living on the streets. Dignitaries including the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr. Jean Kalilani and popular Malawian musician Skeffa Chimoto also attended the march. The marchers travelled from Lilongwe Community Centre making regular stops to engage with on-lookers and two former street-connected children shared their stories.
During the same event, the guest of honour Dr. Jean Kalilani also launched the Charter for Street Children which was developed by Retrak and groups working alongside street connected children, with their voices at its core. The charter is Malawi’s new approach to tackling street connected issues and homelessness and provides the policy guidelines for those that are working with street children and the Lilongwe Charter to allow people and organizations to work together more effectively.
In Uganda, Retrak were joined in marking the occasion by our partner Brass for Africa. In Kampala, thousands of children are estimated to live on the streets. The day’s events allowed for a safe space for the children to come together with social workers, police, government officials and charities to learn about options beyond the streets. The Mlisada Senior Band proudly led the very public march through Kampala’s downtown area, and the Brass for Africa teachers led their students from the Retrak centres in a call and response performance of WakaWaka.
In the UK, Retrak supporters joined our campaign to help raise awareness and spark conversation by taking a photo of friends, family or colleagues lying down somewhere you wouldn’t expect and sharing it. A huge thank you to Kingsway Community Trust primary schools, Stockport Academy, Greater Manchester East Scouts (GME), Jump Xtreme Trampoline Park Bolton, The Nubian Times, Greater Manchester Police volunteers and the Ugandan Community in Manchester for taking part.