YONECO Children’s Band was the darling of the crowd on 16 June, 2018 when it performed at a national commemoration event of the Day of the African Child (DAC) that was held at the magnificent Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Malawi.
The event started with solidarity march that started from the entrance of the Malawi Parliament Building to the venue. The marchers moved to the rhythm of child protection songs from the two albums which the YONECO Children’s Band produced. The selection was exclusively on child protection and development. Upon arrival to the venue, the Band led patrons in singing of the Malawi National Anthem.
Christopher Nyambalo was among the people who were impressed with the performance of the Children’s Band.
‘I am impressed with the sound quality as well as the fact that the message on child rights is being delivered by the children themselves in a very attractive way”, said Nyambalo.
‘With this beautiful singing, you cannot miss the message. The beat acts as a magnet for a person to listen to the song and get the message in the end”- commented another Lilongwe resident who was present at the event.
YONECO Children’s Band is a tool that was initiated a decade ago as part of rehabilitation process of children who are withdrawn from the streets. Once the children are withdrawn from the streets, they are enrolled in school and attend band sessions where they learn the art and skill of playing various musical instruments. Over the years, the band has become a voice for the children of Malawi as their songs revolve around child rights, welfare and protection.
The Day of the African Child was initiated by the African Union (AU) in 1991. The Day is commemorated to honour young people who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976. Further to this, the day is used to raise awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.
This year’s commemoration of the Day of the African Child was held under the theme; ‘Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development’. The Guest of Honour to the commemoration event in Malawi was Honourable Dr. Jean Kalirani; Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.