ICDB is commemorated on the first Sunday of March every year.
This year, it was commemorated on the 6th March 2011 under the theme “Boys are…Girls are…”.
UNICEF played a convener in order to ensure that local broadcasters took part in the commemoration of the ICDB, and continue to deliver good quality programming for, with and by children year round. The envisaged outcome of this advocacy process was two pronged:
1. That children would be given space on the mainstream media channels, and on an on-going basis, to exercise their right to freely express their views on issues that affect them;
2. And that children be afforded opportunities to meaningfully participate in the actual production and presentation of these children’s programmes.
To kick start the mobilisation of local broadcast media houses for ICDB 2011, UNICEF Botswana invited representatives of all local radio and TV broadcasters to a special meeting where they were briefed on ICDB, its objectives and goals, what they could do as broadcasters, as well as to invite them all to take part in the 2011 ICDB.
Botswana Television (Btv), Radio Botswana (RB), Yarona FM and Gabz FM are the four broadcast media houses who sent representatives to the ICDB meetings.
Radio Botswana, a state owned national radio station that broadcasts mainly in Setswana (local vernacular), successfully put together special ICDB programming that comprised the following:
1 hour of children’s voices freely expressing themselves on ‘Boys are…Girls are…’ theme; these children were recorded from five (5) different remote locations across four (4) different districts (Southern District, Kweneng District, Kgatleng District and Central.
During the ICDB on March 6, 2011, the station ran a 2hour special programme featuring segments of children’s voices described above, live children’s call in, and a short interview where the child presenter interviewed the UNICEF Communication Officer on ICDB. The programme was led by two child presenters and three (3) child studio guests.
UNICEF - supported the programme with branded ICDB T-shirts, lunch money for officials recording children’s voices from districts, and provision of refreshments for children and supervising presenters during the ICDB special programme.
Botswana Television, a state owned national television station, decried shortage of equipment and personnel but were able to successfully put together special ICDB programming that comprised the
· A series of puppetry ICDB spots which were run on the TV station for about two (2) weeks to create awareness and promote ICDB.
· A 30 minutes special programme showcasing children in the media was run on March 6, 2011 as the station’s contribution to the ICDB 2011 commemoration.
UNICEF supported these commendable efforts with branded ICDB T-shirts, resource person to facilitate the ICDB special programme (Communication Officer played the role of a radio presenter).
Gabz FM is a private commercial radio station that responded to the UNICEF call to join the ICDB commemoration with candid enthusiasm.
The Gabz FM 2011 special ICDB programming entailed:
· Running of PSA’s inviting parents of interested children to bring their children for auditions; through these auditions the station selected five children to present the station’s 2011 ICDB special programming on March 6th, 2011.
The selected children were crash trained/coached on radio presenting prior to going live on
· On March 6, 2011 the Gabz FM had these children presenters jointly present the station’s special ICDB programme from about 0800hrs to 1530hrs that included children’s call in segments, professional presenter talks, music, and an interview of the UNICEF Communication Officer on ICDB.
UNICEF supported Gabz FM ICDB programming with BWP 6, 000.00, which was a negotiated 50% cost sharing contribution, branded ICDB T-shirts, and provision of refreshments for children presenters during the ICDB special programming.
The ICDB special programming at Gabz FM went so well that the station is considering making it a monthly feature i.e. to have the ICDB child presenters research topics of their choice and come back to the station for a once a day full day interactive programming that would include interviews, SMS and call-ins.