UNICEF World Children’s Day: Reimagine a better future for every Nigerian child
Last month our amazing kids, 16-year-old Habeebat Olatunde, and 15-year-old Abdulmalik Oseni were invited to speak at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) World Children’s Day 2020 event with the theme “Reimagine a better future for every Nigerian child.”
Habeebat and Abdulmalik took the stage to share their personal stories about living in a rural area in Nigeria and the aspects of change they wish to see in Makoko. Children from around the world took part in the challenge where they reimagined a future with no discrimination, a sustainable and greener future, a future with no discrimination, and a safer future for children everywhere.
The Importance of World Children’s Day
To mark off the day, the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore called for urgent investment to protect children’s futures.
As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the rights of every child everywhere, need to come first in any recovery plan”, they stated.
The senior officials were joined by several young people from around the world, drawing attention to the challenges facing today’s youth.
“We see our generation facing challenges as never before in our lifetimes, millions of children are missing out on basic health care, are being cut off from education, and are facing poverty and violence everyday”, the youngsters said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic took away ‘normal’, but for us, ‘normal’ was never good enough anyway.”
A Brief Excerpt from their Talk
Habeebat Olatunde, 16
“As a young Nigerian girl, I want to see a Nigeria where I’m not judged based on my gender, religion or tribe, I believe this change begins with you and I. In my community, Makoko, we struggle with a substandard educational system, insecurities and lack of sufficient health care facilities. Girls in my community are exposed to rape, sexual abuse, and teenage pregnancy. Women in my community die while giving birth due to inadequate power supply.”
Abdulmalik Oseni, 15
“My vision for this great Nation is to make our country a better place to live, a home where equal opportunities are rife, where anyone can become great irrespective of who they are in society, most importantly a Nigeria of my dream where freedom of speech is not denied. A Nigeria where every child has access to quality education. A Nigeria of my dreams where there is a voice for the voiceless.”