Empower 20 million Africans to sustainably provide for themselves by 2032.

Photo Essay

Day of the African Child


Sand play: Siblings from the Vucane community garden in Mozambique play in the sand while their parents work hard to provide for their family.

Photographer: Maryke Jankowitz

“Children affected by conflict or climate-emergencies are at the epicentre of this educational crisis and face the highest learning poverty rates in the region.”


The International Day of the African Child is commemorated every year on June 16. The annual event honours the memories of young students who were shot and killed by South African police, on June 16, 1976 for protesting against education injustice and inequality in the apartheid regime.

Each year a theme is set by the African Union to mark the day. This year’s theme is “Education for all children in Africa: the time is now”.

According to one of our partners, Unicef, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of learning poverty in the world with almost 46 million school-aged children across Eastern and Southern Africa out of school. Children who have been affected by conflict or climate-emergencies are at the “epicentre of this educational crisis”.

Education is a fundamental right, yet there are many barriers to a decent education for children in Africa. These include low household incomes, transport, hunger, poor facilities, unqualified teachers and bad governance.

“Despite all this, the children we meet in different countries are often smiling and laughing, playing with whatever is close to hand. We’ve seen toys built out of rubbish, scooters carved out of wood — including the wheels! There is ingenuity in these young minds — it is tragic to think some will never reach their full potential,” says Sulette Theron, ForAfrika’s chief photographer.

ForAfrika supports access to quality education. Together we can build better futures by enabling strong and stable educational environments.

Riding the storm: A young boy races around on his homemade scooter at Casissombo School in Bocoio in Angola.
Photographer: Sulette Theron

Swings and laughter: Children from Mum and Kids daycare in Orange Farm, South Africa, enjoy their playground and classrooms.
Photographer: Maryke Jankowitz

Come rain or shine: Children make a soccer ball out of plastic bags at Nikuapa School in Mozambique.
Photographer: Sulette Theron

Resourceful: Displaced children at Pabial Settlement centre in South Sudan play with their push car made from scraps.
Photographer: Sulette Theron

Happiness through the eyes of a child: Children in Mozambique show their joy at the smallest pleasures.
Photographer: Maryke Jankowitz