Accra-The United Nations Information Centre, (UNIC) Accra, in collaboration with Just Care Foundation (JCF), a local NGO, engaged some Junior High School students in a drawing competition as part of activities to mark this year’s Day of the African Child, which falls on 16 June each year.
Thirteen (13) basic schools from the Ledzokuku – Krowor District of the Greater Accra region in Ghana participated in what was termed Just Draw 2013, from June 6 to June 13, 2013. A total of sixty-five (65) talented young boys and girls, between the ages of nine (9) and sixteen (16) were selected to participate in the competition.
According to Mr. Charles Appiah, an official of JCF it is important for students to sharpen their ability to visualize and communicate via drawing. And this is what the event sought to do.
In the first competition, the pupils had 20 minutes to draw what they connected to the theme, Our culture, our pride, our identity, our future. The second competition, referred to as “still-life” drawing, saw the students draw an inanimate object which was placed in front of them. Ten participants were subsequently selected to compete in the Just Draw 2013 second event which was to climax the competition and to mark the Day of the African Child. This event was attended by all contestants of the competition, representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Health Service, WHO and UNIC.
All the various representatives provided brief remarks on the theme “Cholera Kills, Prevention is better than Cure”. The idea behind the interactive statements was to create awareness about Cholera among school children. It is estimated that over 10 people, including children, died from Cholera in 2012 in the Greater Accra region alone.
Ms Cynthia Prah, the NIO of UNIC Accra said in a statement: “this year we mark the 23rd commemoration of the Day of the African Child on the theme Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility. Noting that the theme is to draw attention on the need to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices against children, and highlight the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders. Further she said, “There is no doubt in our mind that, though small, this event will leave a lasting memory in the minds of children here on how to keep our environment clean through the visual representations we are about to see.” She added, “Remember that every child is unique and a winner in his or her own way. Let us continue to encourage these young ones and help them develop their talent”.
The final part of the competition saw the 10 finalists exhibiting their artistic talents in three thematic rounds on Cholera kills: Prevention is Better than Cure”, “still-life on nutrition” and “The African Child” respectively. All 10 finalists received a gift for participating. The final three were awarded special prizes. The first finalist, Justice Twum, said “I am very happy this afternoon and I was not expecting this, and I really thank God and I thank all of you. God bless. Thank you”.
“I learned about how to keep our communities clean, and how to protect our waters for us not to be affected by Cholera“, said one student. For another student, “I was very happy to learn about washing hands before we eat and the causes that affects Cholera”.