INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY
Botswana, Gaborone, 07 March 2012: UNICEF Botswana commemorated International Children’s Day of Broadcasting under the theme “Voicing Unheard Young Voices” which was well received by local broadcasters. Broadcasters opened their airwaves for children to express themselves especially those silenced by inequities.
BROADCASTERS VOICE UNHEARD YOUNG VOICES
UNICEF joined Radio Botswana for a live broadcast at Motshegaletau Primary School, a small settlement situated 44 kilometres from Serowe village. Motshegaletau is home to some of the less privileged children in Botswana, lacking access to, among other things Information Communication Technologies services. Children from settlements surrounding Motshegaletau such as Mogorosi, Thabala, Moiyabana, Sehunong and Mabuo and Mosolotshane came in large numbers to participate in the day’s events. The live broadcast was hosted by four child presenters who had been trained by the Radio Botswana crew a few days before. The child presenters kept the show alive with discussions in between traditional dance, choral music singing, poetry, drama plays, storytelling, live news reading and short speeches all about, for and by children themselves.
Privately owned radio stations Gabz FM, Yarona FM and Duma FM also opened their airwaves for ICDB this year. Gabz FM trailed ICDB commemorations leading to children participating on all Sunday programmes in the studio with professional presenters. Children also co-hosted the “Joy of Jazz” show with the renowned jazz DJ Uncle Shima. After long hours of training, Yarona FM engaged children at Botswana Parliament where the children interviewed honourable Ministers and other members of parliament. Children also packaged and recorded their news pieces for a live broadcast. Duma FM hosted children of Bahai faith for a lively discussion on their lives, dreams and concerns.
UNICEF MEETS WITH THE MEDIA
UNICEF held a breakfast press briefing on Wednesday 29, 2012. The event was attended by managers’ from the media fraternity, partners in advocacy for children’s rights and UNICEF staff. Speaking at the briefing, Radio Botswana 1 and 2 General Manager, Mrs Keitirele Mathapi, shared some of the work that government broadcasting services does in addressing child participation and reaching all children. She mentioned children programmes such as Botswana Television “Mantlwaneng”, Radio Botswana “Sunday School” and “Manana” through which children are given a platform to share their views with their peers. Gabz FM Technical and Programmes Manager outlined some of the challenges that private media face in giving children a voice on radio;
“We do not have a dedicated, implied law that dictates a particular broadcast quota for kids, it would be ideal for Botswana Telecommunication to propose a quota that can be dedicated for developing kids for broadcasting or for knowledge and skill base.”
Mr Moeng also added that private media need more resources in order to travel across the country to compile special programmes with children for children hence the need to bring in partners to assist in their efforts.
DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD 2011