In 2002, governments of the Africa Union (AU) together with 127 others across the world envisioned “A World Fit For Children”. They foresaw Africa as a continent where children are safe from diseases like AIDS; where they have universal access to quality education and health care; and where they, their families and communities are protected from conflicts and exploitation.
Today, however, this vision of an “Africa Fit for Children” remains a distant reality:
· West and Central African countries have the lowest percentages of children attending basic or primary schools -- averaging just 65%.
· 12 million children across Sub-Saharan Africa have been orphaned as a result of AIDS.
· Just 22% of all Ethiopians have access to clean drinking water.
· Only about 3% of children in Somalia complete fifth grade.
· Sahelian countries of West Africa account for some of the world’s highest child malnutrition rates -- reaching 44% of children in Burkina Faso.
· Recorded births across Sub-Saharan Africa in 2007 approached 30 million, while deaths of children under age five neared 5 million.
· Burkina Faso, Mali and Malawi have the highest recorded rates of early marriage – 65% and 51% of girls respectively.
· An estimated 36% of children in Eastern and Southern Africa are victims of sexual exploitation.
Africa for Jesus is committed to realizing an Africa Fit for Children. In partnership with African governments, non-governmental organizations, regional institutions, donors, churches and especially local communities, we are pursuing an Agenda for Children that seeks to address some of the most common and complex challenges facing the African continent today.
· (Statistics sourced from UNICEF State of the World's Children 2008 Report)