School for a better future, Bentiu children say
15 June 2013 - Beseeching them through songs and poems, Unity State children today urged adults to give young people an education so they could become doctors, pilots or teachers.
The children were celebrating International Day of the African Child (16 June)in front of a large crowd at Independence Stadium in the capital Bentiu under the theme "Yes to Child's Education, No to Child Soldier".
"What we want ... is school so that we will have a better future like children in other African countries," said 14-year-old Angeline Nyayier Riek from Lich Primary School, calling on parents to support them during their studies.
Another student, 15-year-old Peter Puok Majuc, also from Lich, said he had a right to school and food. "It is my right to education. It is my right to be taken care of by my parents ... with food and clothes."
After completing his education, Puok said he would become an army general like the late Paulino Matip Nhial, so that he could protect his country, South Sudan.
Chairing the programme, Unity DeputyGovernor Michael Chanjiak denounced the six grave violations perpetrated against the African Child. These include maiming and killing children, abducting children, sexual violence against children, denial of humanitarian access, attacks on hospitals and schools, and recruitment of children.
UNMISS Chief Child Protection Chief Hazel De Wet praised the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) for its role in supporting the Unity State Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, her unit and other development partners in demobilizing and reuniting with their families 31 children associated with the armed forces in May this year.
The previous day, the SPLA, South Sudan National Police Service, Prison, Fire Brigade, Wildlife Services and UNMISS football and volleyball teams competed for champion. The Wildlife squad came first in both competitions.
The celebrations were organized by UNMISS in collaboration with the state Ministry of Social Development, Gender and Child Welfare, supported by the state Ministry of Information, Communication, Culture, Youth and Sport.