Today we join the rest of the African region in commemorating Day of the African Child. In South Africa, 16 June is Youth Day, a public holiday. The theme for this year is 30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.

As social workers, our work with children is significant. We drive development programs targeted at children, we strengthen families and communities and we have a policy role too. We also have a political role, and a big lesson from this day comes from its history. On this day in 1976, over a hundred children were murdered by armed police officers in Soweto, South Africa during a demonstration against educational segregation, apartheid and colonisation. Thousands were injured. About 10 000 – 20 000 marched in what became known as the Soweto Uprising. The lesson here is, if children find means to become political, how much can social workers do politically.

Here is our blog that talks about the political role of social workers. If you find it interesting, please share.

And another blog about Charlotte Makgomo-Mannya Maxeke (1871-1939) of South Africa, a social worker politician.
See our webpage about another social work politican from Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo (19 June 1917 – 1 July 1999):

To learn more about Day of the African Child Africa, visit this African Union (AU)’s African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) website: