|© UNICEF JN4115005/Dan Thomas|
|This show on Radio Mozambique is one of 23 child-to-child programmes across the country|
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 2 December 2004 – Dulce Massunda, aged 18, Ruben Vicente and Faidate Abdula, both aged 17, are three young broadcasters who present their own programme on Radio Mozambique.
Child-to-child programmes like theirs began as a one-time broadcast to mark the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting started by UNICEF a decade ago and have developed into long-running shows.
Today, Radio Mozambique broadcasts 23 weekly programmes in 12 local languages which are written, produced and presented by 27 children. For example, in Maputo, the Mozambican capital, children broadcast 10 minutes every day and an hour on Saturdays and Sundays.
The issues the young presenters discuss on air range from children’s rights and racial discrimination to sexuality and HIV/AIDS.
“Children are more relaxed and natural and they really express what they feel,” says Dulce Massunda, who has become a household name in Mozambique since she began broadcasting. “And besides it’s important that children have the opportunity to talk to each other. For example, when I talk to other kids I can relate to what they’re feeling.”
Dulce and her co-presenters are currently preparing a three-hour special to be broadcast on December 12 – this year’s International Children’s Day of Broadcasting. The special broadcast will be presented by children aged 12 to 18 years old and feature stories about safety.
“For this year’s International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, we are encouraging broadcasters to help children learn and tell other children, and adults, about how to help build a protective environment in their community,” explains UNICEF’s Jeannette Gonzalez, who co-ordinates children’s’ broadcasting activities.
UNICEF Mozambique provides the young broadcasters with training, ideas and access to the internet. With this assistance, the young people can do their own research and exchange ideas with other young programme-makers around the world.
Radio Mozambique has established a communication network with other Portuguese-speaking child radio programmes in Brazil and Angola. They share cassettes and CDs of the programmes produced.
“The International Children’s Day of Broadcasting has given us the opportunity to use the mass media to get the general public to pay attention to children,” says Coutinho Zita, Radio Mozambique’s co-ordinator of child-to-child programmes.
Radio Mozambique’s investment in this kind of programming is just one example of how broadcasters all over the world are fulfilling the right of children to express themselves.