What We Are Doing
Children in Niger hope for a smile of joy on every child's face by 2030 28 Oct 2015
The Race for Survival was held on the 23rd and 24th of October in the districts of Gazaoua and Zinder, in eastern Niger. 300 pupils participated and attended both the races, running for their right to live and survive.
The excitement and frenzy were on their highest in the morning in the village of Gazaoua from 7:30am onwards when the sun came up in the sky. In the small village school children invited their peers from surrounding villages in the districts of Tessaoua and Aguié to participate in their Race for Survival.
Two days earlier, the children took part in a general rehearsal led by their school teachers. The purpose was to ensure they have a complete understanding of the EVERY ONE campaign's objectives, sensitize them on their rights and the causes of infant mortality. They were also assisted by Save the Children's campaign team to think and transcribe their hopes for 2030 on balloons. They finally opted for happy smiley designs on their balloons, thus expressing what they wish to see on every child's face in Niger by 2030.
On Friday 23rd, the local administrative and religious authorities composed of the Prefect and the District Chief, beneficiaries, media and artists attended the ceremony launched by M. Ely Keïta, the newly arrived Save the Children Niger's Country Director. The event started with the delivery of the official speeches. In his, the Country Director first welcomed his guests and congratulated the team for the good preparation. He then addresses the importance of the EVERY ONE campaign, pointing out that due to our global advocacy, we have seen a huge decline in infance mortality rates around the world. He congratulated the Government of Niger as it has seen great progress in successfully reducing child mortality under the age of five. He ended his speech by requesting the goverment to continue its efforts of reinforcing the presence of quality healthcare for mothers and children, combatting child malnutrition and to stich to its efforts to hiring more qualified healthworkers.
The Prefect, in his speech, also highlighted the work Save the Children has done to spread the word about government's efforts and caring for the health and wellbeing of children and mothers in Niger.
The children, marching with their postcards, accompanied their two spokespersons to deliver the advocacy messages to these authorities. In their plea, they emphasized two key messages
- to stop infant mortality in their country through the eradication of malnutrition and
- the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding.
They subsequently submitted their advocacy document to local authorities representing the government.
Right after, an awareness-raising play was performed in Hausa by district's local artists. Save the Children employees along with the Country Director ran a short distance to show their support to the cause and demonstrate their commitment towards the cause of ending child mortality.