The eyes of African children often tell the story; either a story of devastating poverty, stigmatization by violence, rampant disease, being orphaned and inadequate food or education. Yet, despite these problems, the eyes of the children of Africa, like the eyes of all children can really charm you, they beam with innocence and hope for a better tomorrow. You cannot meet Africa children under the most degrading human conditions and your heart be not moved.Protecting innocent African children from the ravages of man-made and natural disasters is the reason behind the Day of the African Child, a world-wide celebration on June 16 which focuses international attention on the needs of African children. The commemoration coincides with the date of the massacre of demonstrating schoolchildren by South African police. In Soweto, thousands of black school children took to the streets in 1976, in a march more than half a mile long, to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured. To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity. The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today. But rather than focusing on the suffering of African children, the observance will showcase the positive steps being taken to improve their plight. Maintaining support for African children is a formidable task, because serious problems affecting them remain. War and conflicts, deadly diseases, poor food and nutrition, unsafe water and unsanitary conditions and illiteracy continue to make life miserable for African children. Today, one in every 10 people infected with the AIDS virus in East and Central Africa is a child under five years old. It is estimated that 29 million African children under five years old are underweight, 39 million suffer from stunted growth and of that number nearly 4 million are starving to death right now.