The children that we see today will become the future leaders of the country so it is important to instill positive values while they are still young. Echoing this thought during his speech at the Closing of the Year and Christmas Celebrations for the Pikinini Pilai Program on 8 December 2021, Simon Yanis the Director for the National Office for Child and Family Services stated, “Children are the foundation of this country.” In the hustle and bustle of daily life sometimes we may forget how important children are to a society so statements such as this are timely reminders.
The Pikinini Pilai Christmas celebration event was hosted by ACDP with the attendance of key stakeholders, sponsors, political leaders, parents and guardians witnessing 60 children participants who received early Christmas gifts. The event provided an opportunity for attendees to witness young citizens practicing their learned skills and knowledge. The guests’ attendance was an added source of inspiration for the children. As our leaders continue to support instilled values through recreational learning, these values will continue to guide children, especially those who are marginalized, to become active citizens of Port Moresby.
Pikinini Pilai provides opportunities mainly to street and out of school children between the ages of 6 and 13. The main purpose is to bridge the gap for children who are missing out on the country’s development processes due to lack of access. The program provides opportunities for children to engage in recreational play by learning and taking part in physical activities as a way to foster discipline, improve mental well-being and respectful interactionin a safe, nurturing environment.
Guest speakers during the Christmas celebrations were Hon. Powes Parkop and NCDC Deputy City Manager- Corporate Services Ms Patricia Solon. Both guest speakers acknowledge the program and emphasized on the importance of having early childhood education which forms the foundation for the development of children.
At the end of the Christmas celebrations Fazilah Bazari, founder of the program, thanked NCDC and CPL, the major sponsors, and said that she looks forward to continuing this program in 2022.
Pikinini Pilai was founded through ACDP in January 2021, reaching more than 120 children in urban, informal, settlements from Koki, Badili, 2mile, Rabiagini, Talai, Hanuabada and Sabama in the nation’s capital.
The program is in line with The United Nation’s SpecialSession on Children in May 2002, which is part of promoting healthy lives and providing quality education to children. The special session agreed to the following:
“ To promote physical, mental and emotional health among children, including adolescents through play, sports, recreation, artistic and cultural expression.”
The physical activities provide opportunities for children to develop a sense of belonging and create a sense of community. The activities generate positive behaviours and attitudes as well as promote the spirit of friendship and solidarity. Overall, the children who participate in the program gain self-discipline, trust and respect for others and the environment.
ACDP is proud to have started this program in 2021 as a part of the growing movement in child protection and empowerment locally and globally.