In commemoration of the Day of the African Child Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, MenEngage Uganda and EASSI organised a tweet chat on 16th June 2021. The tweet chat was hosted on the UYHAF tweeter page where we had over 93 posts, 25 original contributors, 354,2666 potential impacts, 90,656 potential reach, 72 original tweets, 25 total contributors, 44.92 followers per contributor and 1.57 tweets per contributor. These numbers were tracked using the #DAC4Agenda2040 that was used by the panellists and participants. The tweet chart has been organized under the following objectives;
1.A better understanding of the challenges faced by children and find solutions to them.
2.Mobilize partners and duty bearers towards addressing the issues affecting children, especially during the pandemic.
3.Use the virtual platform to raise awareness on how children can be protected while away from school.
The DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took in defence of their rights. The DAC thus celebrates the children of Africa and calls for serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across the continent Although AU adopted the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to ensure institutional, legal, and policy efforts at child well being are mainstreamed and fast-tracked, countries are still faced with persistent challenges. One of the challenges is children failing to access sexual and reproductive health services and information, leading to the inability of children to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy, childbirth-related complications, unsafe abortions, STIs among others. These challenges have been further exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic which has made the situation for children worse. For many of the children, schools are a safe space where teachers are always on the lookout and other adults identify signs of abuse and intervene in the lives of vulnerable girls. In schools, many useful clubs also create safe spaces for children. While it’s true everyone is struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic it is going to have more serious consequences on some of the vulnerable populations. Unfortunately, children are among the most adversely affected and for some life will become downright dangerous. Now that children are back at home without the support system of teachers and school administrators many girls will be left vulnerable to teenage pregnancy, child marriage, GBV, and SGBV among other devastating effects of Covid-19.
The panellists used the tweet chat to raise awareness around how parents can protect their children while at home, shared recommendations that policymakers can adopt to respond to the issues around child marriage, teenage pregnancy, child labour among others.