Typical African Child In The COVID-19 Era

Ada Africa
Posted June 15, 2020 from Nigeria

Every June 16 is a Day of the African Child. The day aims at raising awareness for the situation of African children, and on nothing so special to share about the African Child this 2020 due to the mess the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown us into.

The year 2020 started with the deadly covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world and Africa holding the weakest end of the stick. To curb this pandemic, various sectors of the economy, business and education were placed on lockdown. Human and vehicular traffic too. Without the government providing for her citizens, hunger struck. Poor people in our slums and rural communities been at the receiving end wouldn't let hunger take their lives and that of their children hence, they are ever ready to make ends meet by all means including sending children to work and hawk commodities.

As the IMF predicted, a heavy recession is already hitting all nations leaving billions of families in abject poverty. Given that poverty is one of the major causes of child labour in communities WHAI works, which has significantly increased the rate of child labour. Parents send their kids to farm all day making these African children lift implements heavier than their age.

These families do not have the finance to engage their kids in any academic lesson, they have no access to mobile gadgets for online learning, hence they send their kids out to make money to enable them meet the family's basic needs. The number of working African children has risen drastically in the local communities where we work since schools are closed down.

We are already seeing hundreds of children hawking face masks on the streets, market places, on the high ways and even at gatherings. We have also seen children turn to house boys and girls, doing domestic chores bigger than their age including carrying gallons of water from distant places etc as there is no running water in most homes, and water is an essential commodity in the house hence the children are sent to carry up to four kegs of 25 kgs of water each and trek distances in order to supply water for the family use. This might affect their health in the future.

No matter how sweet/good the commodity a child hawks taste or how good the child is at doing it, or the amount of money the child makes for the family, it is still exploitation. This group of African children face sexual abuse, harsh labour, under payment, lifetime effect etc.

Exposing African children to harsh labour is the easiest way of redirecting children from the path of light that childhood brings and pushing them into the darkest destructions of premature adulthood.

On this Day of the African Child, WHAI beckons on all people of goodwill to join this fight in any of the following ways:

Ø Helping provide back-to-school pack ($12) for at least one child in poor communities we work

Ø Promising yourself to give African children opportunity to enjoy quality childhood

Ø Pledging not to employ the .services of an African child for labour greater than his/her age

Ø Reporting any sort of abuse of an African child to the law enforcement agencies

Ø Partnering or supporting the capacity building programs we offer to poor communities and African children at the verge of dropping out from scschoo

We cannot wait on the government alone to do something. It's time we begin to make personal and collaborative efforts bearing in mind that we keep staying at a point until we take a walk.

A child is not a miniature adult. An African child in the rural community can do better. We may be the face of change and hope they see!

 © John Onuigbo and Udegboka Nkechi both work for WHAI

 

Comments 10

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rebecca.tang
Jun 16
Jun 16

Thank you for sharing. It's really sad to hear the children in African are not able to continue learning online but turn into child labour. It needs more assistance and support to African child.

Ada Africa
Jun 16
Jun 16

Thanks Rebecca. We are doing the much we can. It's so pathetic
We need motivators and mutual partnerships.

Busayo Obisakin
Jun 16
Jun 16

Dear Ada
Thank you Ada for sharing the sad reality of African children that has been lock down for the past 4 month and could not continue their education because there is no internet access, power supply epileptic and poverty another issue entirely. COVID 19 has shown it more clearly the hopelessness of the situation of Disenfranchised African children. We all need to keep advocating for a better future!
Love
Busayo

Ada Africa
Jun 16
Jun 16

Thanks so much Busayo

Chi8629
Jun 17
Jun 17

Hello Queen,
You have an awesome smile .
Thank you for sharing .
We love you so much .
You are valuable .
Please stay safe out there.

Ada Africa
Jun 17
Jun 17

Thanks for the feedback. We appreciate

Thelma obani 2020
Jun 18
Jun 18

Thanks for sharing

Ada Africa
Jun 20
Jun 20

Hi Thelma. You're welcome

Anita Shrestha
Jun 18
Jun 18

Thank you for sharing

Ada Africa
Jun 20
Jun 20

You're welcome Anita