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Marking World Read Aloud Day in a special way, the EU Delegation joined children at the Uganda Cancer Institute for fun story telling featuring EU comic book Tesa and Luuka. The event was organised by Assist Community Initiatives Uganda (ASCU) and was held as part of two special events to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Read Aloud Day, marked every February 1. The aim of the celebration is to promote literacy, the reading culture among children and advocate for reading as a right for all children.
The first event was held at the Uganda Cancer Institute for children who are battling cancer and are unable to attend school or even access reading books. The colorful event was organized in collaboration with the Uganda Childhood Cancer Foundation’s 3C Club (Children Caring for Cancer) who provided volunteers that mobilized the children and the EU Delegation who shared Tesa and Luuka comic books with the children.
The second event was held at the Soo Many Stories Children’s library in Kampala. This event was organized to involve other children. The children were divided into two groups, with the older children reading and discussing the different themes in Tesa and Luuka’s trip to Rwenzori while the younger children listened to Siba and Siba; a story written for children by a local author.
The EU comic seeks to raise social consciousness and carries important messaging promoting the rights of children in Uganda. Readings were done by both children from the ward and representatives from the EU Delegation led by Mr Emmanuel Gyezaho, Press and Information Officer and Ms Marion Beijuka, Finance and Contracts Manager.
Mr Gyezaho said children’s rights remain a top priority of the European Union and its Member States in Uganda. “We are delighted to be here today to celebrate with these brave children. 2019 is a very special year as it marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Through our comic books, we are promoting literacy as well as raise social consciousness for the protection of the rights of children," he said. Ben Ikara of the Uganda Cancer Child Foundation said the children are clearly battling adversity, but events like the World Read Aloud Day give them warmth.
Stella Ahaabwa, of ASCU said: "ACI chose the European Union's Tesa and Luuka comic book because it is relatable with their target audience who are Ugandan children who are susceptible to the challenges/themes addressed in the book. Some of the issues raised in the comic include child labour and child sacrifice which have affected many children in Uganda. The comic takes a stand against these issues in a fun way to allow for the message to stick to the children's minds. As we celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2019, let us continue to advocate for children's rights which include access to education in all forms."