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Voices of Youth Digital Diaries

Voices of Youth Digital Diaries are all about young people who want to know more…do more…and say more about the world. Our goal is to amplify their voices by inviting the world’s children to share UNICEF’s electronic podium. These reports are first-person/eyewitness accounts by young people from around the world.

Digital Diary: Bernice reports on the benefits of giving bikes to Ghanaian schoolgirls
NEW YORK, USA, 7 January 2009 – In much of the developing world, young girls are often left behind when it comes to their education. While sons are encouraged to attend school and strike out on their own, many daughters find that their education is of secondary importance to parents who are struggling to make ends meet.

Tereza’s story: I want to be a pilot
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 21 August 2009 – When Tereza Kitale looks up at the sky over the town of Juba, Southern Sudan, she sees her future.

Dorothy’s story: Youth journalist reports on preventing skin diseases in Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 5 August 2009 – After growing up in Uganda as a refugee from Sudan’s internal conflict, Dorothy Lurit, 15, finally returned to Sudan last year and was shocked by the hygiene practices of some of her neighbours.

Peter’s story: Youth journalist reports on food insecurity in Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 3 August 2009 – "My mother is hungry," says Peter Yel, 16. "Food prices are too high." To ease the burden on his mother and five siblings in their village, Peter, a student in secondary school, has moved to Juba to live with his uncle.

Alfred’s story: Youth journalist reports on early marriage in Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 24 July 2009 – As Alfred Malish, now 14, has grown up, he has noticed an alarming thing happening around him: His female classmates are leaving school early to get married.

Changing behaviour to prevent HIV and AIDS in Zambia
LUSAKA, Zambia, 5 May 2009 – Zambia has one of the highest HIV rates in the world. Over 1 million Zambians carry the virus, and more than 150,000 Zambians between the ages of 15 and 24 are living with HIV.

Digital Diarist Qulinta Nepaul, 18, visits a festival to support South African youth
NEW YORK, USA, 23 September 2008 – In between high school and university, Qulinta Nepaul, 18, took a year off “to try to find out what I wanted to do.” The young South African, a UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth Digital Diarist, ended up at the Phoenix Child and Family Welfare Society.

Digital Diarist Tsholofelo Selufaro speaks about child labor in Botswana
GABORONE, Botswana, 15 April 2008 – Around the world, 158 million children aged 5-14 are engaged in some form of child labour – one child in every six. In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion is even higher. However, many countries are only just becoming aware of the extent of this problem.

Fatuma’s Digital Diary: Girls’ education in Kenya’s largest slum
KIBERA, Kenya, 4 April 2008  Kibera is Kenya's largest slum, right in the heart of the capital city, Nairobi. The slum's million-plus inhabitants struggle with extraordinary poverty and high crime rates. As is true throughout Kenya, the vast majority of Kibera's residents are under the age of 30, and less than half of the district's youths ever begin secondary school.

Violence subsides but families remain displaced in post-election Kenya
NEW YORK, USA, 11 January 2008 – The effects of post-election violence in Kenya continue to reverberate throughout the country. An estimated 250,000 people have fled their homes and are in need of food, shelter housing and essential medicines.

Digital Diary: Nigerian street children tell their stories of life without security
NEW YORK, USA, 26 December 2007 – Isaiah has spent 5 of his 15 years living on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria, the second largest city in Africa. He spends his days and nights in this sprawling metropolis trying to fend for himself.

Bernice’s Digital Diary: A Ghanaian girl’s take on London – Part 2
NEW YORK, USA, 11 December 2007 – Bernice Akuamoah, 21, lives in Accra, Ghana, where she has just started her third year at university. She was the first person to create a Digital Diary with UNICEF Radio and the Voices of Youth online community – using recording equipment supplied by UNICEF to tell her story of teenage life in Accra in a six-part series.

Bernice’s Digital Diary: A Ghanaian girl’s take on London
NEW YORK, USA, 23 November 2007 – Bernice Akuamoah, 21, lives in Accra, Ghana, where she has just started her third year at university. She was the first person to create a Digital Diary with UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth (UNICEF’s online community for young people), using recording equipment to tell her story of teenage life in Accra in a six-part radio series.

Tsholo’s Digital Diary: Tapping the potential of youth to change lives in Botswana
NEW YORK, USA, 10 August 2007 – Tsholofelo Selufaro, 18, is excited to be behind a microphone and takes every opportunity to interview members of her community on such topics as poverty, girls’ rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Jane’s Digital Diary: Malawian girls’ rights on the line
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2007 – Jane Kachitenji is passionate about girls’ rights – to education, safety and the same opportunities as boys. She’s an active participant in the Kaufulu Girls Foundation, a girls’ club in her home community of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi.

Chinyanta’s Digital Diary: A Zambian teen fights for child rights and gender equality
NEW YORK, USA, 6 June 2007 – Chinyanta Chimba has a lot of energy. At her school in Lusaka, Zambia, she’s active in the Student Alliance for Female Education, which advocates for the rights of girls. She also travels around the world, speaking about children’s rights.

Ecuadorian youths at UN forum speak out for indigenous children’s rights
NEW YORK, USA, 30 May 2007 – Three young people from Ecuador presented their agenda on securing the rights of indigenous children last week, during the Sixth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which ended on 25 May.

Youth in Gaza and Sderot, Israel face daily violence
NEW YORK, 22 May 2007 – Julie is 17 years old and lives in Gaza in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt). Violence has been an ongoing part of her world for her whole life, off and on, but in the last week there’s been an increase in the level of unrest in her community, both between the internal Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, and in the form of air strikes from the Israeli Air Force.

Digital Diary: Pranav explores the issue of drug use among his teenage peers
NEW YORK, USA, 20 April 2007 – Pranav, 14, is concerned about the risk of drug use among his peers and wants to better understand the issue.

Nicaraguan Digital Diarist interviews peers about abuse and discrimination
NEW YORK, USA, 30 March 2007 – Jorge Luis Contreras, 16, who lives in Esteli, northern Nicaragua, is an avid interviewer. For several years now, he has been part of Radio Cumiches, a youth radio group.

Two US youths with HIV join the fight against AIDS in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 30 November 2006 – Kimberly Canady, 19, and Elias Perez, 20, both from Brooklyn, look tired but have a sparkle in their eyes as they arrive in Ethiopia after the 16-hour flight donated by Ethiopian Airlines.

Botswana radio training helps young people speak their minds for all to hear
NEW YORK, 10 November 2006 – Thirteen children between the ages of 10 and 16 recently completed a radio production training workshop in Gabarone, Botswana.

UN Global Youth Leadership Summit energizes a new generation of activists
NEW YORK, USA, 1 November, 2006 – Nearly 400 young people gathered at UN headquarters this week for the Global Youth Leadership Summit, working together to help breathe life into the Millennium Development Goals – and returning to their countries with revitalized plans to address some of the worst scourges on the planet.

Digital Diary: Jamaican AIDS activist Kerrel McKay talks to other youth leaders
NEW YORK, USA, 19 October 2006 – In her latest Digital Diary, UNICEF Radio Youth Reporter and Jamaican AIDS activist Kerrel McKay interviews other young leaders she met at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto.

Digital Diary: A youth anti-violence activist in the Philippines tells her story
NEW YORK, USA, 10 October 2006 – Cora Buala, a 19-year-old activist in the Philippines, spent several weeks using a MiniDisc recorder to document her thoughts and conversations on violence against children for UNICEF Radio.

Digital Diary: Jamaican AIDS activist Kerrel McKay tells her story, her way
NEW YORK, USA, 15 August 2006 – For the past few months, Jamaican youth AIDS activist Kerrel McKay has been using a mini-disc recorder and microphone to record some of her thoughts and conversations for UNICEF Radio.

Young people in the Middle East talk about the toll of conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 14 August 2006 – Yasmin, 13, lives in the Gaza Strip. She says her life used to be beautiful, without the fears she has on a daily basis now. “I can’t go swimming, I can’t go anywhere, can’t look at the Internet because of the electricity shortage,” she says. “I can’t even take a bath because of the water shortage.”

Youth in the Middle East tell their stories of conflict... and hopes for peace
NEW YORK, USA, 1 August 2006 – Omer lives in Haifa, in northern Israel. She’s 15 years old. “After the siren we have about a minute to get into shelters. And usually we hear booms and faraway echoes. It’s kind of scary.”

Digital diary: Jamaican youth AIDS activist Kerrel McKay tells her story, her way
NEW YORK, USA, 25 April 2006 – Kerrel McKay was 10 years old when her father was diagnosed with AIDS. She lived in the parish of Portland on Jamaica’s northeast coast. Her parents were separated, and at age 14 she had to take on the burden of caretaking.

‘Thembi’s AIDS Diary’: A year in the life of a South African teenager
NEW YORK, USA, 18 April 2006 – For the past year, Thembi Ngubane, a 19-year-old from the township of Khayelitsa, South Africa, has been recording a diary of her struggle to live with AIDS.

Nicaragua and Colombia: Young people help improve water safety in their communities
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, 4 April 2006 – At the Children’s World Water Forum, held in Mexico’s capital from 16 to 22 March, children reported to one another on their water and sanitation projects around the globe – including some important initiatives here in Latin America. Following are profiles of two such projects in Nicaragua and Colombia, and the young activists behind them.

UNICEF Digital Diary: Berenice’s story from Ghana, part one of a six-part radio series
ACCRA, Ghana, 16 January 2006 – Berenice Akuamoah used a mini-disc recorder and microphone to document her life in a six-part series for UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth. Berenice is a very unusual 18-year-old young woman who hopes to become a lawyer, a sociologist, a political scientist and a journalist. “As you can see,” she says, “I am a young woman with many aspirations for my life.”

Violence against children: ‘Xchange’ strives to end the scourge
BELIZE CITY, 16 May 2005 – Marleni Cuellar, 20, has dedicated herself to building a new youth movement called ‘Xchange’ which is launching in Belize and the rest of the Caribbean Region over the next few months. Xchange is all about building harmony and commitment against violence one person at a time, through musical events, dramas and other participatory methods.

Voices of Youth members plan newsletter
NEW YORK, 2 May 2005 – Luciana, Jennifer, Laura, Camille, Fatima and Zuhur are hard at work inventing their own means of expression: a newsletter that will be published online through Voices of Youth.

22 March 2005: Youth Reporter Jordan from Ireland reports on how sports can help both children and nations
NEW YORK, 22 March 2005 - This year, 2005 has been named the Year of Sport by the UN, and UNICEF’s work around the world reflects that focus. In countries from Colombia, in South America, to Rwanda, in East Africa, sports is being used as a tool to educate young people, and to offer them a way of settling conflicts and a tool for relieving their own pain as a result of regional wars and other problems.

28 January 2005: A young Iraqi girl Sara describes her family’s preparations for the coming elections
AMMAN / NEW YORK, 28 January 2005 - With the situation in Iraq on the eve of the elections growing worse each day, 17-year old Sara and her mother and brother have temporarily left Iraq for the neighboring nation of Jordan. In Baghdad, Sara and her family faced rising violence, a lack of electricity and water, and a strict curfew imposed on Baghdad residents.

19 January 2005: Youth from around the globe contribute to the tsunami relief effort
NEW YORK, 19 January 2005 - Throughout the world, governments and aid organizations have been working around the clock to help the victims of last month’s tsunami. But what is equally amazing, and less well-documented, is the determination of individual young people from Bogota to Jakarta to help in whatever way they can.

January 10, 2005: West African youth participated in a webchat on December 22nd; they focused on one health problem that is on the rise in the region, polio.
BENIN/CAMEROON/NEW YORK- Thirteen-year old Danielle lives with her mother and brothers and sisters in a quiet neighborhood in Benin.  She participated in the December 22 web chat about polio, put together by UNICEF’s Voices of Youth. 

15 December 2004: Ugandan youth describe experiences living in nation divided
KAMPALA/MUBENDE/NEW YORK, 15 December 2004 – In Uganda, the northern section of the country is still embroiled in civil unrest, as it has been for the last 18 years, with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in violent battle with the Ugandan army. Unfortunately, it is the civilians, and mostly the young people, in the region who suffer the most, far more than the soldiers on either side of the conflict.  The LRA uses violence, abduction and rape to subjugate the children of the villages in the region, and force them into their ranks as soldiers.

15 October 2004: Iraqi girl describes first day back at school
BAGHDAD/NEW YORK, 15 October 2004 - With parts of Iraq still in conflict, the school year has begun with some schools opening later than usual. Parents are concerned about their children’s safety and many were kept at home.

Iraqi youth reporter describes life during war
NEW YORK, 27 September 2004 – UNICEF is always interested to promote the participation of children in matters that concern them. In a new effort to publicise the opinions of young people around the world we’re reaching out to those who want to contribute to the UNICEF website as youth reporters.




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