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Children’s rights, an important topic to be broadcast on air

UNICEF Mozambique
© UNICEF Mozambique/2012/Caroline Bach
“We talk about children’s rights and about how important it is to go to school,” says community radio presenter Milena (center), with radio co-host Pedro (left), and their teacher Tezinho Njanje (right).

Pedro Junior is only 13-years old, but he is already well known in Changara and people greet him when they see him around town. “People I don’t know already know who I am, they want to say hello and talk because they have heard me speak on the radio.” he says. 

Changara is a small village in Tete province in northwestern Mozambique, in what is considered one of the poorest regions in the country, saddled with poverty, drought and various social issues. Though few families can afford a television set here, most households have a radio, or know someone who does. And the radio is always on.

Tezinho Njanje is one the presenters at Changara Community Radio. He is also a teacher at the nearby EPC Changara Sede School. That’s where he finds young, emerging radio talents.

“When I have a student that I notice is especially well-spoken and smart, I ask them if they would like to be on community radio,” he says. “It’s a challenging task that stimulates the students to learn more and use their abilities.”

The radio has programming from 6am to 8pm every day, and broadcasts a variety of shows around health, education and development, both in the local language and in Portuguese. The weekly schedule also includes children’s shows and programs about literature and music.

“We have a responsibility to both entertain and inform the community. Radio is the best way to talk about current issues and to educate. ” Tezinho explains.

As part of the Child Friendly Schools initiative, which encourages the active participation of children and women, Changara Community Radio is a much appreciated radio station, and families usually listen in together.

UNICEF Mozambique
© UNICEF Mozambique/2012/Caroline Bach
Pedro Junior has been a radio presenter for a year and believes his programs reach children and their families with important messages.

“I was listening to the radio with my father the other day, when I heard the children’s program for the first time,” says 11-year old Milena. “They were talking about sexual abuse of children. I think that it’s a very important topic, so I told my father that I also would like to speak on the radio and he agreed.”

Milena is one of Tezinho’s students, and her teacher had already been thinking of asking her to join the station, when she approached him.

“Milena is courageous and always will say what she thinks, that’s a very good quality for speaking on radio.” he says.

Milena has just started the training for young talents and will be hosting the children’s hour twice a week. She has already been on air once.

“We talk about children’s rights and about how important it is to go to school,” she says. “We also talk about domestic violence, about how to take care for our health, respect the elderly and help our parents at home. We explain things that we think are important for the children in our community to know. I learn a lot myself just by being on the radio.”

Pedro Junior has also trained to be a radio host, and has already been on air for a year. He believes his voice can make a difference.

“I think that many parents beat their children. I hope that by explaining to the children on the radio that this is not right, that maybe they can tell their parents that they are not allowed to hit them. Families also often listen together, so I think I am reaching some of the parents, as well. Maybe they will understand. I hope they will.”

For further information, please contact:

Patricia Nakell, UNICEF Mozambique,
Tel: +258 82 312 1820; Email: pnakell@unicef.org

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

 

 
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