KENNETH KAUNDA CHILDREN OF AFRICA FOUNDATION
A MESSAGE TO THE CHILDREN OF AFRICA
Here is a call to action, to imbibe and apply the same sense of responsibility that drove the consciousness for independence from colonial rule in the 1950s. This sense of responsibility demands commitment, focus and strong will against the social order that threatens the liberation and development of Africa.
The struggle raised black consciousness; it produced great leaders and Pan-Africanists who responded with dedication to the African people. It was a dedication that took them to colonial prisons and cost some their lives. It tasked them beyond measures, but they persevered and showed courage for their people.
It is this struggle of liberation of the African continent that I had the privilege to be part of, across divides and lands within the continent. We liberated Africa, with high hopes of economic development and human welfare.
It is very unfortunate that after this struggle, Africa remains in under-development and poverty. Sometimes, it appears as if the gains of the struggle have been lost in the face of poverty, maternal and child mortality, and the very negatives which Africa has relapsed into.
These sad developments, different from the dreams of the Founding Fathers and the patriots of old have challenged our capacity to rise up like other continents, and many have been led into despondency. However, we should not despair.
Endemic poverty, hunger and diseases like HIV and polio still ravage Africa. Here is a call for action once again; a call for the same spirit that was displayed against colonial rule. We definitely will win if we work together. Governments, corporate organizations, development institutions, communities and individuals should come out and become change agents. As the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation through the Health-Wise-Child Initiative enlist children as change agents in the public health promotion, government policies across Africa should continue to emphasize broad-based strategies that create an environment in which child health programs will be sustainable and effective.
Strong primary health care policies and systems should continue to support targeted child survival activities while promoting policies that advance primary health care systems and which integrate disease prevention activities, including immunization programs and broad health education. Behavior change is the key to breaking the AIDS transmission chain.
We must have healthy citizens; we must rid Africa off diseases and ignorance; we must live the dream of the founding fathers for which they gave their lives.
Together we shall overcome.
Kenneth David Kaunda
(First President of Zambia).