The day of prayer and action for children was celebrated in Mogadishu on November 20, 2011. The celebrations were organized by the Somali Youth Development Network (SOYDEN) in collaboration with the African Council of Religious Leaders —Religions for Peace(ACRL—RfP) and GNRC Africa. The day’s activities operated under the theme, “’Stop Violence Against Children’’. Earlier on, a team of young professionals had been engaged to identify deserving street children from the Benadir region districts to benefit from small support that would see them start small income generating activities in town. The process identified 40 street children who were each issued with a shoe shining kit. Majority of the children selected either had one parent or none, with majority indicating that their parent encouraged them to go to the streets due to high poverty levels. Children had opportunity to share their stories with adult participants as they received counsel on acceptable behavior and existing child protection avenues. It was heart wrenching to listen to young Ali Hassan Nune, narrate his story of how he had not been able to trace his other family members after his father died. Mohamoud Alasow Jani, a prominent artist and writer based in the UK interviewed and entertained the participants.
A number of media stations including Shabelle radio, SNTV, S24TV, Hiiranonline.com, Somaliweyn.com and jowhar.com covered the event that reached approximately 1 million people. They interviewed children on their general life experiences and what DPAC meant for each one of them. The event was concluded with prayers for children in difficult situations.
Participants during the meeting and Ali Hassan Nune (left) being introduced by one of the organizers
Street children hold their shoe shinning kits