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EAC launches Raising the Flag Project

The East African Community (EAC )Secretariat has launched the ‘Raising the Flag’ Project to promote the engagement of youth and children in the EAC integration process.

‘Raising the Flag’ is an EAC sensitization initiative that will be implemented in collaboration with Save the Children International and organisations under the East African Civil Society Organisations Forum and the East African Youth Network.  

The Raising the Flag project has been developed in response to, Article 120 (c) of the Treaty for establishment of the East African Community which provides for the adoption of a common approach for involvement of children and youth in the integration process through education, training and mainstreaming children and youth issues into the EAC policies, projects and programs for strategic interventions.  

The Raising the Flag project builds on the efforts of the EAC Secretariat to engage children and youth in matters that affect them as espoused in the EAC Youth and Children Policies. The initiative seeks to popularise the EAC Anthem, provide flags and flagpoles in all schools in EAC Partner States. For sustainability, the project will establish ‘EAC Integration Clubs’ and conduct sensitisation sessions with patrons of the clubs, teachers, heads of the schools and the students themselves.  

Launching the campaign at the Turkish Maarif School and the SOS Children’s Village in Arusha, Tanzania on 13thJuly 2021, the EAC Principal Gender and Community Development Officer, Mrs Generose Minani commended the Turkish Maarif Schools for the Partnership with the SOS Children’s Village in Arusha and the blended approach of educating orphans and vulnerable children together with all children from the community.   

She stated that the EAC has developed and is implementing youth and children’s policies and to facilitate the participation of children and youth, has developed Child Friendly Versions of the policies and facilitators’ guides.  

The pilot phase of the project is ongoing in SOS Children’s Village Schools and will scale up to an annual target of 600 primary and secondary schools in all EAC Partner States. All participating schools will raise the EAC flag and with active EAC Clubs participating in debates, writing competitions, cultural galas, exchange visits and other EAC Integration activities. 

The EAC Treaty (Article 120 (c)) calls upon Partner States to develop and adopt a common approach towards marginalised groups including children. This undertaking is anchored by the EAC’s commitment to the principle of good governance including adherence to, among other things, the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as the recognition, promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Article 6(d)).

The EAC Youth Policy was adopted in 2013 and the Child Policy was adopted in 2016. The policies provide a functional, regional, policy, and institutional framework to facilitate the development, co-ordination, harmonisation and strengthening of national efforts geared towards the promotion of youth and children’s rights and their wellbeing.

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