Mariam MochochokoTrade unions in South Africa have lots to celebrate, but seldom do we see or hear about our unions celebrating International Children’s Day. Apart from the United Nations declaration that June 1 be officially recognised as a day in honor of our children, the Organisation for African Unity (now known as the African Union or AU) also adopted an African Charter acknowledging the rights of children in society.
Gloria Buthelezi and Miriam Mochochoko, gender activists and trade unionists decided that it was about time that shopstewards spent some quality time with their children, and set in motion plans to celebrate International Children’s Day.
With some help from the national gender desk, and support from a number of individuals both in and outside the union (a few big companies organised by Numsa were approached but refused to grant any support), Numsa Kzn can proudly claim to have hosted a successful Children’s Day.
And to give expression to this day, children and their parents from the surrounding Durban locals gathered at the union’s Regional Office on Saturday June 4 and transformed the place almost instantly.
Children! Laughter! Running! Shouting! Jumping! Balloons popping! Painted faces! Ear shattering party trumpets – all dwarfed by a gigantic “jumping castle” and activity table that tapped the little ones artistic creativity beyond all imagination: “God bless the children of Africa” summed up the message, while staff prepared a feast for the toddlers and their parents. Dancing (Indian classical and Kwaito), singing and kiddy speeches (even the RS lost his position for the day) all added up to a delightful fun-filled day in the name of children.
Shopstewards, staff, families and friends – a vote of thanks from the Regional Gender Committee. Viva International Children’s Day! Viva Women’s Day August 9! Viva!