Obama: ‘My Neighbor’s Child Is My Child’

By Penny Starr | July 2, 2013 | 10:12 AM EDT

President Barack Obama toasts with Tanzanian first lady Salma Kikwete during an official dinner at the State House in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Monday, July 1, 2013.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(CNSNews.com) – In a toast to Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, President Barack Obama said Monday, “My neighbor’s child is my child,” which is a traditional Tanzanian saying and a favorite of the Tanzanian president’s wife, Salma Kikwete.

“I am told that Mama Kikwete is fond of a traditional Tanzanian saying – ‘My neighbor's child is my child.’ And that sentiment I think also captures the feeling, the partnership between – our two countries must have.”

“We live thousands of miles apart, but as fellow human beings, we share a sense of obligation to each other, especially to the youngest among us,” Obama said. 

“So you might say an American child is my child,” Obama said. “We might say a Tanzanian child is my child. 

“In this way, both of our nations will be looking after all of our children, and we'll be living out the vision of President Nyerere,” Obama said. “The core values that he proclaimed for Tanzania also describe what both our countries seek – wisdom, unity, and peace – Hekima, Umoja, na Amani.” 

At a town hall meeting in Johnstown, Pa., on March 29, 2008, Obama said if his daughters made mistakes, he did not want them “punished with a baby.”

“I’ve got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old,” Obama said. “I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals.

“But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby,” Obama said. “I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16.”