New Vision (Kampala)

18 December 2012

Uganda: A Green Christmas Party

The ever-growing popularity of the Toto magazine-sponsored My Kid Is a Superstar celebrations last Sunday at Kololo Airstrip was enough to attract the interest of President Yoweri Museveni.

The President, who was on his way back from Adjumani District, stopped over to talk to the thousands of children who turned up for the event. Toto is a Vision Group publication.

In his speech, which was the climax of the day-long event, the Head-of-State advised the excited children to stay in school, study hard, avoid bad groups and obey their parents. He concluded by wishing them a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2013.

The bi-annual celebration this year took on an environmental theme - Little Hands Go Green - a nationwide civic campaign for Uganda to regain its vegetation cover by encouraging children to plant trees.

The President also pledged to support the tree-planting drive.

Excited children, in the company of their parents, started trickling in as early as 9:00am. Among the activities the children took part in were bouncing castles, swimming pools, bi- and tricycle rides, toy helicopters, horse-riding, among others.

They were also treated to impersonations of child screen heroes like Batman and Superman.

Parents participated in races to the loud cheers from their children.

There were musical performances by child singer Baby Sonia and later Coco Finger, a dancehall artiste.

Beautiful 'green models' flocked the stage to showcase various fashion styles. The final activity was a dancing competition among child volunteers.

Jovita Ajuna, the Toto editor, thanked the children for honouring the occasion and urged them to participate in many more events to come. She signed and gave Christmas cards to the children who she praised for reading Toto. There were also hundreds of copies of the magazine for the children to take home.

Organised by Mase Consult, My Kid Is a Superstar started out as a typically fun event for children and their parents last year. However, along the way, organisers sought to add verve and purpose by harnessing the intuitive drive and ambition of children to promote tree-growing.

The drive was launched by Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, in June this year and endorsed by Oyo Kabamba Iguru, the Omukama of Toro, in July.

Until last Sunday, 14,500 fruit trees had been planted throughout Uganda thanks to the initiative, while an additional 12,000 fruit trees were handed out to children who attended Sunday's event.

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