On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we, child reporters of Bandundu, decided to visit the president of the provincial assembly in order to follow up on various lobby requests submitted to his attention. Accompanied by our supervisors, the heads of the Divisions of Gender and Communication, the President of the Provincial Assembly of Bandundu received us on Thursday, 14th November at 11 o’clock in his office. This was rewarding for us as we were able to share with him some of our concerns including: lobbying against economic exploitation of children, early marriage, a reminder about daytime and nighttime noise at Bandundu’s Reading Centre as well as children’s forced participation in prayer vigils.
” IT IS PAINFUL TO WATCH A GIRL OF 15 OR 16 YEARS MARRY A FATHER OF 45 OR 50 YEARS OLD”
Speaking on early marriage, Mérite MBUATA said: We see in the neighbourhood, a girl of 15 or 16 years marry a father of 45 or 50 years, that is painful to watch because we would not accept that this happen to us. They are not doing it of their own free will and they are not happy but tradition requires it.
Deo KUSANIKA continued: I would like to talk about children who spend all night in church for vigils, whereas these children should be going to school the following morning. This is why we came to speak with you, if you can take measures against these problems.
The President of the Assembly paid attention to our complaints, especially in relation to daytime and nighttime noises. Speaking on this topic, the President reassured us with these words: «….As soon as I got here, I prepared a letter addressed to the provincial governor as it was the beginning of the school vacation and I told them that when the students return from vacation, this nonsense will have to end. I am shocked that you are here to tell me that nothing has changed and I will ask the governor about it again. »
He then invited us to present to the deputies the various problems associated with violations of children’s rights so that they could come to a decision to submit to government for execution. This pleased us. At the end of the meeting, we presented our lobbying letter to the President of the Provincial Assembly.
Concerning the decree on the economic exploitation of children, he reassured us that he is following up on his signature and will respond in due course.
The President also praised our initiative and advised us to continue on the same course.
Rolande a 13 ans et elle est enfant reporter à Bandundu. Elle s’engage aux côtés de ses amis pour lutter contre le mariage précoce et l’exploitation économique des enfants. Plus tard, elle sera institutrice pour transmettre ce qu’elle a appris
Rolande is 13 years old and she is a youth reporter in Bandundu. Along with her friends, she is comitted to fight against early marriage and the economic exploitation of children. Later, she will be a teacher to convey what she has learned
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