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A radio programme by children for children

© UNICEF Mozambique / H. Ruiz
Augusta with peer Romao, presenting a program which they themselves produced on Radio Parapato.

ANGOCHE, Mozambique, 8 August 2011 – Weekends are special days for Augusta and six children in the District of Angoche in Nampula, Mozambique. While other children of their age are playing, working in the fields or in the sea, or doing their homework, Augusta and her friends use up their time preparing a radio program to discuss issues affecting the rights of children. On air, they talk about physical and sexual abuse of children, unwanted pregnancies, early marriages, malaria and other health issues affecting children. The children’s radio programs are aired every Saturday and Sunday in Radio Parapato. Although designed for children by children, adults listen to the program as well. The program is a way of providing boys and girls with a means to exercise their participation right.

Radio Parapato is the popular local name referred to Radio Comunitaria de Angoche, a community-based radio registered in the name of a Fisherman’s Association called Associacao de  Peschadores de Angoche (APAA).  Parapato is the traditional name of the District of Angoche.  The radio program is mainly produced by children for children in a remote district of the country. UNICEF Mozambique supports this initiative with basic equipment for radio operations, reference materials on child rights and other related issues, and training on radio production.
UNICEF promotes the right of children to meaningful engagements in matters affecting their life by supporting child-to-child radio programs where primary school boys and girls are able to express their views, feelings and opinion  on community issues affecting them.  UNICEF also provides assistance to active involvement of children on television, theatre, school clubs, and other community-based activities. 

These initiatives are undertaken in cooperation with community-based organizations, Radio Mozambique (RM), Mozambican Television (TVM) and the Mozambican Community Radio Forum (FORCOM). The child-to-child media programme is considered to be the “voice of Mozambican children” in the local media. The programme involves children actively engaged in the development, production and presentation of radio and TV programmes for and by children.

Augusta goes to Angoche Secondary School as Grade 9 student. On weekdays, Augusta, wakes up at six in the morning, cleans the house and prepares breakfast of pao (bread) and cha (tea) for the family. Her Mom goes to work early. Before going to school at 1130, Augusta prepares food for her Mom who goes home every day for lunch.  In the community, many young girls like Augusta help their mother in household chores.

Augusta used to wake up late and did not want to help in the house. After joining other child broadcasters in Radio Parapato, she has completely changed as a daughter and as a student. Now she has even improved the way she deals with her classmates and even with adults.

 “I felt really good when I was chosen as one of the children in the child to child radio programme. It has always been my dream to be on the radio.”  Augusta said in a timid manner.

On December 2009, thirteen children, including Augusta, received UNICEF-supported training on how to organize and produce a radio programme. The training covered writing scripts, gathering and reading news, conducting interviews, and sound mixing. In January 2010, a follow up training was conducted on basic journalism and child rights.

Now we plan and produce our own radio programme” enthused Augusta. “We agree on what topic to discuss for the coming Saturday and Sunday. Our Chief, Romao, leads us in writing the programme based on skills we learned from Tia Sylvia. We divide the topics among ourselves. Sometimes, Tio Alvis, our Coordinator, is there to guide us.

There has been no formal analysis of the impact of the child to child radio programme in the community of Angoche but the children involved in broadcasting in Radio Parapato are quite certain that as children, they been able to express what they feel on the radio and to talk about issues affecting children like them.  It also makes them happy to know that there are children in remote areas who listen to their radio programme.

For more information, please contact:

Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org  

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org

 

 
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