On Saturday 14 June 2014, the Harare City Junior Council commemorated World Day against Child Labour with the rest of the world. Children from schools all over Harare came together for the event that was organized by the then Prospective Junior Councillors, now Honourable Councillors.
The event was established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) under the umbrella of the United Nations to raise awareness of the issue of child labour.
The ILO has data which shows that hundreds of millions of girls and boys across the globe are forced into work that deprives them of education, health, leisure and other basic rights and freedoms. More than half of these are working in hazardous environments, are enslaved, involved in drug trafficking, prostitution and even armed conflict.
Among the many schools in attendance was Mabelreign Girls High who brought their Marimba Group to perform as well as Lord Malvern High who brought their singing and dancing groups. Numerous schools were represented and put on splendid performances that left the crowd cheering for more.
Mayor of Harare, His Worship Honourable Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni gave a very informative speech on the event and the purpose of the day. Also gracing this splendid event with her presence was the Junior Town Clerk, Her Worship Ruvimbo Mujuru from Christ Ministries High School who also gave opening remarks about the day.
The event culminated in a march around the streets near Town House, with numerous banners carrying anti-child labour messages, and the crowd shouting “STOP CHILD LABOUR”.
After the march, one of the organizing Prospective Junior Councillors, Nkosinathi Kutenha from The Heritage School told Harare News, “The march was superb. I met some very cheerful people who are not members of the Junior Council and their passion for goodwill inspired me and motivated me. We all came from our respective schools with a purpose and in the end we were unified, so I’m glad I participated because it was a good way to interact with other people whom I hardly see, who have the same drive, to serve.”
American Politician Alexis Herman once said, “If we can’t begin to agree on fundamentals, such as the elimination of the most abusive form of child labour, then we really are not ready to march forward into the future.” The Harare Junior Council event was a commemoration for a good cause and one that gave people the will to prevent as well as eradicate Child Labour in our city, our country and our world.