UNICEF People

UNICEF Digital Diary: Berenice’s story from Ghana, part one of a six-part radio series

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© UNICEF Ghana/2005/Den Dulk
Berenice making a recording for her UNICEF Digital Diary.

By Blue Chevigny

Voices of Youth Digital Diaries are all about young people who want to know more…do more…and say more about the world. Our goal is to amplify their voices by inviting the world’s children to share UNICEF’s electronic podium. These reports are first-person/eyewitness accounts by young people from around the world.

ACCRA, Ghana, 16 January 2006 – Berenice Akuamoah used a mini-disc recorder and microphone to document her life in a six-part series for UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth. Berenice is a very unusual 18-year-old young woman who hopes to become a lawyer, a sociologist, a political scientist and a journalist. “As you can see,” she says, “I am a young woman with many aspirations for my life.”

Berenice lives in a middle class neighbourhood in the capital city of Accra with her mother and brother. Berenice’s mother runs her own business – and places her children’s education above all other priorities. 

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© UNICEF Ghana/2006/Akuamoah
Berenice and her friend Emmanuel explore their local market in Accra.

Berenice has been a member of Curious Minds – a youth radio and advocacy programme in Ghana – for several years, and attributes much of her current self-confidence to her experiences in the programme. Her assuredness comes across in her digital diary in which she speaks her mind and asserts her opinions freely. She also feels comfortable with a microphone, interviewing her friends and others with ease and humour.

As she states in her diary, Berenice believes young people should take on more responsibility for their community, and she works to improve hers in many ways. She also thinks that adults in Ghana must learn to take young people and their ideas more seriously. “Young people are an investment in the future,” she says. “Many adults see us as undisciplined…a problem.  But we are good people who can help.” 

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© UNICEF Ghana/2006/Akuamoah
Berenice heads off to University.

Her concern about issues of poverty, child labour, regional violence, and gender discrimination comes through clearly as she takes us on a journey through the intimate workings of her day: to the local market, to the offices of Curious Minds, and eventually to her first weeks at the University of Ghana in Accra. 

Berenice lets her listeners in on her hopes and dreams, and just what life is like for a teenage girl in her culture. Each step of the way we hear her unique take on the world around her – and are able to envision her life. In some ways, Berenice’s world and her view of it are very unusual, but in other ways she’s very much like any girl, from any country.


 

 

Audio

20 February 2006:
Berenice starts a new job. Part 6 of 6.


13 February 2006:
Berenice reports on life at University. Part 5 of 6.


6 February 2006:
Berenice starts University and turns 19 years old. Part 4 of 6.


30 January 2006:
Berenice shows us around her local market. Part 3 of 6.


23 January 2006:
Berenice shows us around her youth radio show, Curious Minds. Part 2 of 6.


16 January 2006:
18-year-old Berenice Akuamoah from Ghana tells her own story in her digital diary. Part 1 of 6.

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