More than 800 Ethiopian children join Athlete Ambassador Derartu Tulu to recognize the Day of the African Child
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated every year on 16 June since 1991 as an opportunity for people around the world to reflect on a continent’s progress toward health, education, equality and protection for all children. This year, the Day of the African Child focused on issues concerning child trafficking, one of the most severe violations of human rights in the world today. Right To Play Ethiopia teamed up with partner organizations, Family Guidance Association and Kirkos sub-city to hold an event that focused on improving the lives of children at risk for human rights abuses and giving them hope for a brighter future.
More than 800 children gathered to celebrate the day, engaging in Right To Play’s specially-designed sport and play activities which promoted the healthy physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of children.
"I feel so much joy being with you today. You are the future of Ethiopia. You are boundless individuals with the ability to become anything you want be in life. Your dreams can be your reality if you believe in yourself. I believe in all of you." -- Derartu Tulu, Athlete Ambassador
Derartu Tulu, Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play and Olympic record holder in the 10,000m, joined in the celebration. Derartu is a hero to the people of Ethiopia, especially the children. Derartu was the first African woman and Ethiopian to win an Olympic medal in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Since then, she has represented hope and inspiration for children around the country and has been a positive role model for young girls and boys alike.
Derartu spent quality time with the children throughout the event, sharing stories on leadership and hope that put smiles on their faces and confidence in their hearts. "I feel so much joy being with you today," she said. "You are the future of Ethiopia. You are boundless individuals with the ability to become anything you want be in life. Your dreams can be your reality if you believe in yourself. I believe in all of you."
Change begins with joyful, educated children. At the end of the day, more than 800 Ethiopian children left taking with them an invaluable message: I can do anything if I believe in myself. I am boundless; a fitting tribute to the thousands of high-school students who stood tall and proud on June 16, 1976 in protest for better education.