ICDB 2007 asks youths to speak out on the air about ‘The World We Want’

UNICEF Photo: ICDB 2007
© UNICEF Uganda/2006/Sekandi
Esther Mwesige, 16, of Uganda was one of many youths worldwide who spoke out during last year's International Children's Day of Broadcasting.

By Karen Cirillo

NEW YORK, USA, 7 December 2007 –  This Sunday, 9 December, broadcasters around the world will join together to celebrate the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), an annual event launched by UNICEF in 1991 as a way to increase the profile of children’s issues in the broadcast media. This year’s theme is ‘The World We Want’.

ICDB invites youths onto the television and radio airwaves to produce and present their own programmes. In 2007, young people are being asked to think about the world they live in – whether it is the world they want and, if not, what can be done to change it.

“The thing I would love for the whole world is to make sure everyone is living peacefully and has somewhere to stay,” said one youth interviewed in Zambia. Others wished for an end to HIV or for the opportunity to finish their education. Their thoughts are featured in a short film made by UNICEF Zambia for this year’s ICDB.

Global youth speak-out

Young people in over 80 countries have been preparing for the festivities on Sunday, when they will present their thoughts and aspirations for the future.

National Radio of Angola, for example, has put together a special programme containing children’s stories, theatrical performances and songs.  During a special debate segment, children will share their thoughts on their own future. In response, adults who work to protect children’s rights will talk about what they’re doing to help youths today.

In Morocco, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education have joined together to ask TV and radio outlets to sponsor school media clubs, which are working with broadcasters to create special ICDB-related programming. In Nicaragua, youths will perform various dances and other presentations during a national media festival.

Other youths are going directly to their governments for anwers about the future. In Nigeria, President Umaru Yar'Adua was interviewed by children during a 25-minute recorded chat. The children, who took on the roles of President, Speaker and two members of a Nigerian 'Children’s Parliament', asked questions about the importance of children on the chief executive’s agenda. The programme will be broadcast nationwide.

‘Tune in to kids’

Broadcasters who participate in this exciting initiative will be eligible to enter their programmes for the 2008 ICDB Award. The 2007 ICDB Award went to National Broadcasting of Thailand, which partnered with the Thai Youth News Network to create a day-long presentation written, produced and presented by young reporters in 17 provinces for last year's day of broadcasting.

Some countries, such as Uganda, hold their own national ICDB Awards as an incentive to broadcasters and involve young people in the judging process.

Thanks to this high level of support for ICDB, people around the globe will have a chance to ‘tune in to kids’ on Sunday and hear what children really think about the world in which they live.




Watch a PSA created by UNICEF Zambia for the 2007 ICDB on the theme 'The World We Want'.
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