Lao National Radio and UNICEF strengthen capacity of young people in Xaysomboun to advocate about youth-related issues
With the support from the European Union, the Lao National Radio and UNICEF recently visited Xaysomboun province to help build the capacity of the local youth media group to advocate about youth-related issues.
Xaysomboun, 16 June 2023 – With support from the European Union, a delegation from the Lao National Radio and UNICEF recently conducted a mission in June to Xaysomboun province of Lao PDR to strengthen the capacity of the provincial youth media group to advocate about children’s rights, including on the different issues affecting young people.
Led by the Director General of the Lao National Radio, Mr. Souvanh Vilayseng, the delegation first met with provincial media authorities to discuss the progress, challenges and future plans to raise further awareness about issues related to children and young people in Xaysomboun through the media.
“It is encouraging to the see the progress made in the promotion of children and women’s rights and well-being through local media, including the Xaysomboun youth radio programme,” Mr. Souvanh Vilayseng. “The Lao National Radio will continue to provide guidance and technical support to Xaysomboun, especially on the youth radio programme, to raise greater awareness about issues affecting young people in the province, ranging from those related to education to child marriage.”
Beginning from 2013, the Xaysomboun provincial radio has been on air and has been regularly providing information about local developments to the people of Xaysomboun. With the support from UNICEF, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and the Lao National Radio have also conducted several trainings for media personnel throughout all five districts of Xaysomboun as well. The Xaysomboun youth radio programme was later implemented in 2015 through the support of UNICEF and has proven key in promote the rights and well-being of children and women in the province, particularly among the Xaysomboun youth population.
In parallel with the visit by the Lao National Radio delegation, UNICEF also organised a workshop on youth advocacy for members of the Xaysomboun youth media group. The workshop was aimed at fostering an understanding about youth participation and advocacy as well as providing participants with the skills to advocate about the most pressing youth-related issues.
Vongdeune Kongpakdee, a grade 11 student and member of the Xaysomboun youth media group, shared his reflections on the training. “I think the workshop is really helpful and taught me new skills that will help me better talk and raise awareness about youth-related issues.” Vongdeune says he is particularly interested in the literacy challenges faced by children in his province after the COVID-19 pandemic and hopes to use the skills he learned to support provincial authorities in addressing the challenge.
In addition to the youth advocacy training, UNICEF also organised a discussion with students from local secondary schools focusing on the topic of education and employability in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants shared their experience of the pandemic in their province, especially in relation to their learning, and discussed their future plans after graduation.
The youth advocacy workshop was organised by UNICEF with the support of the European Union. The same workshop was also previously rolled out in Houaphanh, Savannakhet and Xiengkhouang provinces earlier between May and June 2023.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.