|© UNICEF Botswana/2006/Leshomo|
|Thirteen children aged 10 to 16 and their adult facilitators gather after participating in the three-day radio training workshop in Gabarone, Botswana.|
By Blue Chevigny
Each December, UNICEF’s International Children’s Day of Broadcasting involves young people worldwide in media programming and production, giving them a chance to express their opinions on major issues and develop new skills. Here is one in a series of stories about youth media.
NEW YORK, USA, 10 November 2006 – Thirteen children between the ages of 10 and 16 recently completed a radio production training workshop in Gabarone, Botswana. The workshop culminated in the making of a 12-minute programme covering such topics as sports, music and violence against children, and highlighting the voices and new skills of all the participants.
Radio Botswana, which airs several children’s programmes, has decided to convert those shows to child-to-child broadcasts using youth production as much as possible. The radio training workshop – held in September, sponsored by Radio Botswana and supported by UNICEF – was a step in that direction.
Youth media production initiatives like the Botswana project reinforce the right of children to express their opinions and make decisions about the issues that directly affect them.
Kabo, one of the workshop participants, found the experience fulfilling.
“We got to have our say,” she says. “The grown-ups got to listen to us and we got to listen to the grown-ups. When we were actually recording, nobody was shy. We got to experience how a radio programme is actually done. We called it Kid’s Corner.”
The Kid’s Corner programme was produced as a pilot of sorts that the children hope will air on national radio. Kabo thinks that such a show could really have an impact, especially if it continued reporting on important topics like child abuse in Botswana.
“Most people listen to the radio more than they watch TV,” she asserts. “And you have the chance to actually be heard by people all over the country and all over the world!”
New world of possibility
Kabo is even considering pursuing a career in radio production. She didn’t know she was interested until she tried it.
“I experienced the adrenaline rush of actually putting a radio programme together – the hustle and bustle of getting everything done,” she recounts. “We had to choose topics, put it all together. I got a lot of discipline. I also had fun and made a lot of new friends.”
For Kabo and her friends, a whole new world of possibility has opened up – one that could lead to more radio production, especially if Kid’s Corner gets picked up as a national series. But even if they never touch a microphone again, these young people can apply the principles of self-expression and decision-making they have learned to everything they undertake.
9 November, 2006:
UNICEF Radio correspondent Blue Chevigny reports on a youth radio training workshop in Gabarone, Botswana, and presents clips from a programme produced by Kabo, 12, and her friends.
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