DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD EVENT 2018
- Published: Thursday, 21 June 2018 19:46
The Ruben Centre family celebrated Day of the African Child on 14th June 2018. This is because the 16th June fell on a Saturday. We wanted to celebrate on a school day to ensure all the students participated.The Day of the African Child is a day that all the Ruben Centre staff take time to reflect on their commitment of empowerment both of the African Child and the community at large.
The day is usually celebrated in two events. The morning event is the school event which focuses on the child while the afternoon event focuses on the staff of the Ruben Centre who come together to celebrate their work and achievements towards the Ruben Vision and Mission. The Day falls under an annual commemoration ceremony of the hundreds of children that were massacred during the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa. It is an international event celebrated every year on the 16th of June under different themes.
This years celebrations were a blast! The day was celebrated in a colorful and new energy. This year’s event had a fresh touch brought about by implementation of new ideas simplicity of the day and most of all the focus on the child. The International Theme of the year was “Leave No Child Behind For Africa’s Development” with the Ruben Centre family settling for an African wear just to complete the mood. We narrowed the theme to tackle the menace of Drug and substance abuse in schools under the slogan ‘’SAY NO TO DRUGS SECURE YOUR FUTURE’’. This was a call to all the students not to indulge in drug and substance abuse, which is a huge issue in urban slum schools. Most children start to use drugs at an early age with the most commonly abuse drugs in schools including: Bhang, Local Brew (known as changaa), glue sniffing, miraa, cigarettes and many more drugs.
The day kicked off with some reloaded fun sport activities led by our sports team. The school was grouped according to their class colours and this set the mood for tough competitions. Each class participated in the Crazy Olympics with the winners getting instant awards at the finish line even as the classmates cheered them. The teachers were not left behind either as they also had an opportunity to showcase their talents out of the classroom.
The mid morning went down with charming performances and entertainment from children themselves showcasing aptitude, dynamism, prowess and skills in different undertakings. The African Child is talented and very sharp and this was rubberstamped by the different presentations from songs, dances, skits, poems and various contributions to the topic of the day, which was, Say No To Drugs. Many students were out for the school music and sports competitions that coincidentally fell on the same day but this did not hinder the present children from enjoying their day. The students were also treated to a performance from Timeless Noel a renowned gospel artist with his famed dancing style named “ODI DANCE”. Almost Every child in the streets is conversant to the moves and they dance at every seized opportunity. This added to the fun even as the guest took time to sensitize the students on the effects of drug abuse.
Paying attention to time matters considering that children have a limited concentration span, we were treated to an outstanding breathe taking speech from the speaker of the school; cabinet Annet Kamunya who systematically downloaded her well crafted off head speech to the school. She urged the students to say no to drugs if at all they wanted to secure their future. She was keen to remind them that “DREAMS ARE VALID” Phrase inspired by a celebrated international actress Lupita Nyong’o while carefully reminding them that drugs should not stop them from reaching the Canaan of liberation from poverty through Education. We all cheered and I personally see a star, a prominent motivational speaker of the next generation, Annet Kamunya.
The head teacher Mrs. Scholastica in a few words also echoed the tune of the day that was a great call of abstaining drugs at all cost. She is the mother of the house and her voice of reason would be hearkened to many students. Finally, our dearest Director Ruben Centre Br. Frank wrapped up the day with a brief precise speech often ranting the phrase: Watoto Wa Africa Hoyeeee!!!! He congratulated the team that worked hard to put the event together. The children also were treated to an enhanced lunch with some potatoes and vegetables added to their beans and maize. Each class also got a box of biscuit for the children to enjoy.
After the children left for home, the whole Ruben Centre staff gathered in the hall. They all awaited the day because the 16th was a Saturday and the
It is the only day in the calendar year that all staff congregates together to reflect on the Centre’s achievements. We make a big deal of the occasion to enhance our vision and mission in the tradition of Edmund Rice while also honoring the staff who have excelled in their work during the previous year. All departments get a say in who among them is truly living the vision and mission of Ruben and after departments select one of their own, then prior to the big day these staff members are interviewed by the leadership team.
Bev presented the parcel activity which looked to award outstanding staff in different departments. Then the Best employee of the year and the teacher of the year were called out amidst cheers and claps from their colleagues. Thomas Odhiambo station Manager Ruben Fm emerged the overall Best Employee of the year with Teacher Ruth Machokaa a government employed lower primary teacher emerging the Best teacher of the year 2018. This was a great opportunity for the administration to thank these staff and encourage them to own their great work and achievements. All those recommended from other departments were also honoured and got a chance to speak to the other one hundred and forty staff about their efforts to live the vision and mission.
Finally the recipients of the two big awards were awarded certificates, photos and some financial rewards as well. The Employee of the `year received a five percent pay rise. The director did not forget to mention and applaud the newest program in Ruben Centre, the Birthing unit that has so far delivered 59 children in a span of three weeks only With the newest baby at the time of the event being ten minutes old. What a wonder…? It was such a great day for all of us and we can truly and proudly say,We are Ruben.
By: Margaret Kariuki
PR/Advocacy & Networking Coordinator