On Sunday, June 10, 2012, Flying Kites, a US-based NGO, hosted the fifth annual celebration of the International Day of the African Child in Njabini, Kinangop District, Kenya. An estimated 9000 children, teachers, and community leaders amassed in the streets of Njabini and marched to the town’s center for a festival to celebrate children’s rights. Kenyan musician Juliani headlined the festival with an energetic performance that celebrated and inspired community youth. The program also featured opening acts Mcoasto Lucid Stanley, DJ Nyoix, M.C. Wairimu Wamaruki from Coro-FM, Kenya Performing Arts Group, Tazim Elkington, poetry presentations by local school children, and a key-note speech by Nairobi based spoken word artist Ndungi Githuki. The crowd was marked by it’s energy, size, and vibrant colors, both a tremendous spectacle and community statement. The festival included interactive tents for the community to participate in and gain invaluable information from groups like Childline, Redcross and Kenya Performing Arts Group. The International Day of the African Child remembers the June 16th, 1976 tragedy that occurred in Soweto, South Africa when nearly ten thousand African school children marched through the streets in protest of inferior education. This peaceful march, which demanded accessible learning in a native language and equal distribution of resources between blacks and whites, reached critical mass at a police blockade where protestors were fired upon, unprovoked. In the ensuing chaos, thousands were injured and more than 500 were killed. To honor the courage of those who participated in that fateful day, June 16th has been designated I.D.O.A.C. and intends to draw attention to improving the education of African children and informing the global public about children’s basic rights. In an effort to underscore the importance of quality education for all children, as well as the enduring legacy of the Soweto riots of 1976, this year’s The International Day of the African Child is a celebration that should not be missed. Flying Kites seeks to raise the standards of care available to the orphaned and abused children. They are a non- profit organization that strives to give these children the tools they will need – education, imagination and resolution - to succeed in and contribute to a complex and changing world. They prepare them to affect their societies through an emphasis on compassion, advocacy, and leadership.

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