UNICEF Botswana will next week launch a social movement called 50 minutes for Children, which will be geared at propelling and challenging individuals to dedicate at least 50 minutes of their time doing something for children. The movement, whose intentions are to engage everybody to support, care and build children, was introduced to various stakeholders by UNICEF on Wednesday in Gaborone. According to UNICEF Botswana's Head of Advocacy and Communication Tuduetso Kelapile, the movement’s main aim is to inculcate the spirit of caring for and giving to children among Batswana. The idea, she says, is to eventually get everybody involved one way or the other.
According to Kelapile, more often people think the responsibility of caring and giving children certain privileges are all up to government and other stakeholders while in actual fact that should start right with the family unit. Kelapile says usually when people especially adults are encouraged to uphold and promote children’s rights they misinterpret it for promotion of wayward behaviour among children which is in fact a complete opposite. According to Kelapile, UNICEF Botswana wants Batswana to understand and know that children’s rights go way beyond just providing them with basic things. She says the campaign would somehow be simply a revival of the old African saying that; It takes the whole village to raise a child, a proverb that leverages the cultural context and belief that it takes an entire community to raise a child. A child has the best ability to become a healthy adult if the entire community takes an active role in contributing to the rearing of the child.
“We want everyone to play a part, one way or the other,” she says. The campaign will be launched on Tuesday (June 22) and will run up until November 30, 2016. “We hope to build on what we start this year in years to come. Although we would like it to be an annual event, we cannot confirm now,” says Kelapile. According to UNICEF officials the campaign will be hyped and publicised widely across all social media networks. Anyone who pledges to the movement will be expected to nominate and urge people in their circle to also pledge to the movement. The expectation is that some of the good deeds if not all done for children through the 50 minutes for Children campaign will be recorded on camera and shared on various social media platforms hyped with the hash tag #50minsForChildren.