International Day of the African Child has been marked every year on 16 June since 1991. It was first started by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to honour all those who participated in the Soweto uprisings in South Africa in 1976.
Here we share ways you can join us in praying for African children. These prayer requests come from our teams in some of the countries where we work across Africa.
Today, we celebrate the resilience of the African child. We celebrate their talents, their potential and the blessings bestowed upon them by the Lord. We pray that they will be released from the difficult contexts in which they live and from the ever increasing challenges: increased school dropouts; increased number of children living and begging on the streets; limited access to technology; and increased number of child marriages. We pray for restoration and rebuilding so that the African child can flourish as promised by Christ in John 10:10.
Pray for Malawian children, especially those who lost parents/guardians during Cyclone Freddy. Ask God to continue to heal their spirits and souls. Pray for the restoration of their mental and spiritual wellbeing, so that they are able to grow up feeling loved, and with confidence and trust in God to pursue his divine purpose for their lives.
Pray for the increasing numbers of street children, may they find permanent shelter and family to care for them.
Pray for an education system that will meet the needs of the boys and girls, as well as children with disabilities.
Pray for children who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, may God bring a lasting solution to their suffering.
Pray for child-headed families, may God hold their hand as they shoulder such enormous responsibility.
Pray for the children in Niger. The capital is full of children who are forced to become beggars. Parents facing desperate circumstances come from the countryside and send their children out on the streets to beg. On the streets the children are exposed to many risks, such as accidents and ending up caught in prostitution.
In Chad, 3 million of the 6.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance are children. They are the most vulnerable and often face violent conflict, floods, disease, malnutrition and food insecurity without the ability to care for themselves. Recently, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the violence in Sudan to find safety in Chad. Most of them are children and women.
We would like everyone to pray that God protects children from disease, violence and malnutrition, and that God provides for all their needs – particularly as climate change is making farming more difficult. We pray that they will have access to good education.
Pray for the many children that are used by adults who force them to beg for money for them on the streets.
Pray for child protection – especially for girls – and for parents to understand that they should avoid early marriages.
Pray for Nigeria’s children who constitute about 43 per cent of the population – that the Lord will enable the leadership at local, state and federal levels to put in place structures and systems that guarantee a good future for them as they grow into adulthood.
Pray for the 781,200 internally displaced children in Burkina Faso who are being deprived of their right to education, food, decent housing and healthcare. Ask that God will protect them and provide for them.
Pray for the children in Burundi who are living in poverty and who are facing challenges such as malnutrition and lack of access to care and education. We pray that children will have better opportunities to help them fulfil their potential and that cycles of poverty that span generations will be broken.
Children in conflict zones
We pray for children in South Sudan, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Somalia who are growing up in camps for refugees and internally displaced people. We pray for safety for the African children caught up in conflict zones and for those exposed to sexual violence. Many of these children have been robbed of their childhood to the extent that they do not even know how it feels to be a child anymore.
We pray for better access to education for both girls and boys, especially for those from poor households, those living in rural areas, and those living with disabilities. We pray for children who have been affected by the drought and other climate change impacts in different parts of Ethiopia and who are going hungry right now. We pray for protection and provision for these children and their families.
Pray for every African child
For every African child, we pray that they will have the opportunity to live peacefully, and that they can feel protected and cared for. May they be able to experience life in all its fullness and live out their God-given potential and purpose.