By Anastasia Paulus
WINDHOEK – Respected South African veteran singer – Yvonne Chaka Chaka has fulfilled her pledge to make good of her golden voice to leverage support for children and advocate for their rights.
Chaka Chaka, UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa last year promised to record a song for the Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre, a sanctuary for physically and mentally challenged children in Namibia’s Erongo Region.
As part of her contribution to the centre, Yvonne Chaka Chaka recorded the “Kulila” song with the Sunshine Centre Children’s Choir.
The song will be released as a single and as part of her upcoming album. It was launched during a fundraising dinner organised by UNICEF Namibia and Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre at the coastal town on Friday.
The fundraising gala event was held to raise funds for the centre and demonstrate the many talents that children living with disabilities have, said Rochelle Van Wyk, the community assistant at UNICEF Namibia. She said the proceeds from the event is for the benefit of the Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre for Children Living with Disabilities.
The Sunshine Centre which is based in Walvis Bay is one of the few centres in the country that has opened its doors for children living with disabilities.
The centre believes that every child who is differently abled has intrinsic value and potential and more so, has the right to be included in society.
It was established by the community 21 years ago and currently has about 30 children and young adults ranging from the ages of 2 to 30 years.
The gala dinner on Friday also forms part of UNICEF’s ongoing activities to celebrate UNICEF’s 70th as well as the Sunshine Centre’s 21st anniversaries.
“Our belief is that no child should be defined by a disability.
“Hence we have created an environment where each child is given an opportunity to participate in educational, cultural and recreational options for the healthy physical and intellectual development of every child,” Director of the Centre Elsa Murangi explained in a statement issued by UNICEF.
“UNICEF is proud to be associated with such a successful and meaningful endeavour,” said the UNICEF Representative Micaela Marques de Sousa. “Children with disabilities have rights too.
“We need to ensure that they are able to enjoy the same rights and choices as other children – among these, the right to life and to the opportunities that flow from good health care, nutrition and education.
“They should not be treated nor regarded simply as recipients of charity,” said the UN children agency.