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audio Radio By Children: Empowerment in rural South Africa [audio]

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Children find a voice through radio

Radio Kids - South Africa [2010 © greatguides.org]
Children find a voice through radio

The notion of 'children's rights' often remains idealistic. But listen to how children are making them a reality through a radio project in the hills of Ingwavuma. Confident and articulate, this group of children eagerly investigate issues that confront young people, and debate these openly on air.

Last year the project won UNICEF's Award attached to the International Day of Children's Broadcasting for their region. I was lucky enough to be in Ingwavuma on the day children were broadcasting live for this year's competition. Between stints in the studio, eight young members of this remarkable initiative told me how it works, and why it is making such a difference.

Young members call their radio project 'Abaqophi bakwaZisize Abakhanyayo' meaning ‘the shining recorders of Zisize’. The name fits their goals and action. Sometimes interviewing key decision-makers in the area, sometimes recounting personal stories, their aim is to gather and transmit information relevant to their peers, and to the adults who care for them.

The ripple effects are being felt within the community, in national policy debate on responses to AIDS, and amongst development professionals internationally.

Radio Kids - South Africa [2010 © greatguides.org] - Radio By Children - Great Guides

Supportive adult facilitators in the studio ensure that children of all ages have the opportunity to learn skills in audio presentation.

Radio Kids - South Africa [2010 © greatguides.org] - Radio By Children - Great Guides

Young children, especially girls, are seldom encouraged to speak their feelings at home or amongst their elders. The radio project takes a steady, careful approach to building children's self-esteem and oral skills.

Radio Kids - South Africa [2010 © greatguides.org] - Radio By Children - Great Guides

Facilitators and children alike are proud of local and international recognition, for example when they won the UNICEF Award on the International Day of Children's Broadcasting.

The Children's Radio Project is facilitated by the University of Cape Town's Children's Institute, the Radio Workshop and Zisize Educational Trust. We are grateful for the co-operation of these organisations in making this recording. For more information see www.childrensradioproject.ci.org.za.

For more articles on childrens participation in society, see Rachel Bray.

Author: Rachel Bray
Published Date: 22 May 2010
Location: Southern Africa | South Africa
Themes: society | youth, social development