International Day of the African Child

The wall next to the Canadian Embassy

Every year, June 16th marks the International Day of the African Child, a day to raise awareness about the importance of, and need for continuing improvement in education.

Canada continues to support programming that improves access to education, particularly for girls; increases access to learning opportunities for youth in and out of school; and provides demand-driven skills training, especially for women and youth.

Canadian Walls – Blooming Across Africa

This year, Canadian embassies and high commissions across Africa will show their continued commitment to and support of programmes at the national and grassroots levels that affect real change for girls and women by providing a canvas for the voices of children and child advocates to paint their stories.

The High Commission of Canada in Ghana worked with partners on a wall art project aimed to encourage a conversation about the issues of child protection and youth empowerment.  The result: A stunning story lining the streets outside of the High Commission that keep a spotlight on these issues for years to come.

From June 13 -17th, 2016, Canada will work with local African artists, schools, and partners on the “Blooming Walls” project.

Walls have been used since the earliest days of civilization to educate, assemble and convey powerful messages. Like flowers, walls can be transformed from lifeless structures to visually arresting masterpieces by way of vivid imagery, storytelling and aesthetic details.

The walls outside of our embassies and high commissions are currently blank and will be transformed into colourful, powerful stories capturing the importance of protecting all children’s rights and how access to quality education allows African girls to reach their full potential and become agents of change in their own families and communities.

You are invited to follow these stories at #WallsCANbloom

Educate a Child – Improve the World

In times of conflict and crisis, girls are at an increased risk of child, early and forced marriage.

Quality education can be one of the most powerful tools to enable girls to avoid child marriage. Ensuring that quality, safe, gender-sensitive and accessible education is available to girls and addressing the factors that threaten the ability of families to keep girls in school is critical to ending child marriage.

"When adolescents, particularly girls, are safe, healthy and empowered and have real choices in life, they can be powerful agents of social and economic change."
Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Access to education becomes increasingly important as a way to keep girls engaged in activities that offer alternatives to marriage. In sub-Saharan Africa, fewer than 25% of girls old enough to be in secondary school are enrolled in secondary education, leaving them vulnerable to marriage in adolescence. When a girl receives a quality education, she can develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions about her future, including if, when and whom to marry.
 

Artists at work.
(Accra, Ghana)
A message on the wall.
(Accra, Ghana)