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South Africa, 17 June 2013: Young reporters honoured on National Youth Day at South Africa’s first ever Youth Radio Awards

© Children's Radio Foundation
The Young Reporters Network gives children and young people a platform from which their voices can be heard, allowing them to speak on behalf of other youth in South Africa facing similar challenges.

Cape Town, 17 June – Dozens of young reporters and their community radio stations across the country were honoured this weekend at the Youth Radio Awards ceremony, which was held on Sunday June 16, coinciding with National Youth Day.

The event recognised the talent of reporters and community radio stations that are part of the Young Reporters Network – a nationwide network based on a partnership between UNICEF, the Children’s Radio Foundation and the Department of Basic Education. More than 180 children and young people are part of the network.

“National Youth Day is a perfect opportunity to highlight the right of children to be heard – and listened to” said UNICEF’s Chief of Communication and Partnerships Thierry Delvigne-Jean. “By recognising the talent and hard work of these young reporters we value their contribution to society.”

© Children's Radio Foundation
The Best Presenter award went to the Waatz Up Show on Vaaltar FM.

Children constitute close to 40 per cent of South Africa’s population, yet their voices are seldom heard. The Young Reporters Network gives children and young people a platform from which their voices can be heard, allowing them to speak on behalf of other youth in South Africa facing similar challenges. The network brings together 12 community based radio stations with the purpose of involving young people in discussions regarding issues that affect their lives.  The young people are mentored, trained and equipped with the necessary skills to produce and broadcast one youth-led show per station every weekend.

“South Africans tend to have a very negative perception of our children and young people,” said Children Radio Foundation Assistant Director Nina Callaghan speaking at the Ceremony. “But these young reporters are very brave to express who they are, to bring us stories from their communities.”

The best community radio site, Moutse Community Radio, was also recognised at the Youth Radio Awards ceremony.

The winners of the different categories were:
BEST PRESENTER: Waatz Up Show - Vaaltar FM
BEST FEATURE: Boom Talk - Greater Lebowakgomo FM
BEST JINGLE: What's up, Raise Your Voice - Emalahleni FM 
BEST SHOW: Cracking It - Kurara FM
BEST SITE: Tswa Daar! - Moutse Community Radio

The Children’s Radio Foundation
The Children's Radio Foundation uses the medium of radio to create opportunities for youth participation, leadership, and active citizenship. With over 50 projects across five African countries, we partner with radio stations, schools, and community-based organisations to train youth to use radio as a tool for dialogue, reflection and learning.

The Young Reporters Network
Partnering with UNICEF and the South African Department of Basic Education, the Children’s Radio Foundation established the Young Reporters Network in 2012. Involving 180 youth between 10-18 years of age at 12 community radio stations across the country, the reporters take on issues like health, HIV/AIDS, the environment, and education. They interview their peers and community members, host debates, and broadcast weekly live shows on radio in their local languages. The initiative offers a unique opportunity for South African youth to foster a nuanced dialogue about community-specific issues, to tackle them in a youth-friendly manner, and to encourage positive behaviour.

For more information, please contact:
Emma de Villiers, UNICEF South Africa, Tel: 012 354 8252;
Joan Legalamitlwa, The Children’s Radio Foundation, Tel:  021 465 69 65 / 0725070180,



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