Let’s not forget that a child is the future of tomorrow

Despite the efforts of the Provincial Government and its partners in the implementation of projects and programmes to improve the situation of mothers and children, the rights of children in Ituri Province are not fully respected.

The situation of children in Ituri

In Ituri, children face different situations: refugee children from South Sudan, the unpredictable security situation, inter-community tensions in Djugu and Mahagi territories, armed group’s activism, etc. In addition, children in trouble with the law are not supported, 44.5% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition and 9% from acute malnutrition. Only 21% of children are registered in the civil registry and 41% of children from ages 6 to 7 don’t have access to school.

Ituri’s children need help to guarantee their rights because they dream of a lasting development if their rights are respected.

What is UNICEF doing to improve our situation?

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a United Nations agency that protects the rights of children. UNICEF has been campaigning for several years in Ituri, a post-conflict province, for the respect of children’s rights in order to secure their future.

For this, UNICEF teaches several hundred children about participation and their rights. In the area of ​​health, UNICEF supports the strengthening of health routines, the implementation of support for reducing maternal mortality and combating chronic and acute malnutrition. Regarding education, the school enrolment campaign focuses on the recovery of children outside school and UNICEF supports the circular reform of education by strengthening of the quality of education. School kits are distributed to the most vulnerable children.  Psycho-social support is provided for pupils in schools affected by the armed conflict and displacement.

And Young Reporters?

We, Young Reporters, are a tangible realisation of UNICEF’s programme in the province. Nowadays, we have the tools to defend our rights and make the situation of Ituri’s children heard throughout the world. It is necessary to recognise the improvement of certain issues concerning the situation of children in the province, although much remains to be done: maternal mortality, equity in primary school education, early marriage and vaccination of children, etc. We believe that it’s necessary to improve the supervision of children in difficult circumstances and to ensure the respect of the rights of children in trouble with the law.

The issue of children is everyone’s business. Together, it’s possible! To respect the rights of every child, let’s act where they spend a lot of time: at school and with their families. The involvement of parents and school leaders is essential. The International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Law on the Protection of the Child recognise the right of a child to protection, survival, education and participation.

We have to invest today! Let’s not forget that a child is the future of tomorrow.

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Written by Moise and Gislain in January 2018

Translated from French by Ariane Apodaca

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