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At a glance: Liberia

Liberian children take to the airwaves to advocate for their rights

© UNICEF/2010
UNICEF Representative in Liberia Isabel Crowley conducts an interview with ICDB child broadcasters.

By Adolphus Scott

MONROVIA, Liberia, 19 March 2010 – Children across Liberia celebrated International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) on March 7. All FM Radio Stations and 20 Community Radio Stations provided opportunities for the children to air their views and advocate on the issues that affect them.

As part of the ICDB, a large group of children gathered at the UNMIL Radio studios, at the United Nations Mission in Liberia, to get a chance to broadcast their viewpoints.

“ICDB is a big day for us children here in Liberia,” said Yei Danlette Suah, 16, one of the child broadcasters. “As you can see, all fifty of us are happy and having a good time here at UNMIL Radio, and I am happy to be one of the major newscasters for today.”

Children’s voices being heard

“This is what the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting is all about – the voices of children being heard,” said Chief of UNMIL Radio Joseph Roberts-Mensah. “We turn over our station on this day every year to children, and they do everything from news, features, interviews, and preparing a quiz contest, to producing, writing and acting in dramas.”

The International Children's Day of Broadcasting provides children with the opportunity to showcase their efforts and offers broadcasters the chance to be part of the world's largest media campaign for children. More importantly, the ICDB allows children to learn about media and share their opinions and other information with their peers through an outlet that is not often accessible to youth.

A big day for children in Liberia

In this year’s event, over 200 children took to the airwaves in Liberia. They aired quality programmes for and about children. The radio managers allowed children to be part of the programming process, to talk about their hopes and dreams, and share information with their peers.

The ICDB is a joint initiative of UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Every year, thousands of broadcasters in more than a hundred countries take part in the day, celebrating it in ways that are as unique and as special as the children themselves.

Empowering children

“This year, we are calling on broadcasters nationwide to offer children a voice in their programmes and to highlight what people – young and old – are doing to change the lives of children,” says Ms. Isabel Crowley, UNICEF Representative to Liberia. “This is a great occasion to empower children by giving them the opportunity to speak their minds and have adults listen to what they have to say.”

At the close of the day’s activity, all child broadcasters received gifts and a certificate of participation. At UNMIL Radio, prizes were given out to outstanding child broadcasters. And, much to her excitement, Yei Danlette Suah won the prize for the best newscaster.



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