Meet the young reporters

What youth are saying about their experiences in the Young Reporters’ Network

16 year old girl sitting at radio equipment

Rightness Paul, 16 years, Mwanza

“Before joining the young reporters program I was very aggressive and I didn’t like to be with my fellow children. I felt like I was already grown up. I thank God that since I joined the young reporters program I have become a good listener, I know my rights as a child, my confidence has increased and I am respected at school and home. At school it has also increased my academic performance so that I have achieved class A.

“The young reporters program has given me skills in news broadcasting and reporting and it has made me to make follow up on different child rights issues. This program has helped my community to go away from bad beliefs, like children have no value. It has made many community members respect their children and give them the chance to participate in decision making processes. These changes are a result of the Sayari ya Watoto radio program in Mwanza.

“I love the young reports program because our facilitators love us and make follow up on our academic performance. This has largely contributed to us working hard in our studies, resulting in overall better academic performance.”

Mussa, 13 yrs, Kinondoni

Mussa, 13 years, Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam

“The Young Reporters’ Network has helped me a lot, first to be confident, I was not confident before but I am now. I can stand in front of people, introduce myself, and run a programme or run any meeting.

“In my opinion, each reporter should have a recorder so we can know how to use them very well. We also use Facebook and the internet so people can read our work and know there is a Young Reporters’ Network and the work we do.”

Amani, 13 yrs, Kasulu

Amani, 13 years, Kasulu, Kigoma

“In school I was scared and didn’t answer questions but now I answer questions. I’m not afraid anymore. Even if you walk up to me and ask me something, I can reply. This programme has helped me advocate for my fellow children’s rights, especially street children.”

Hawa, 16

Hawa, 16 years, Mbeya

“My dream was to be a doctor, because I wanted to treat people who were sick, especially children and women.” Unfortunately for Hawa this dream has been put away for now because her parents cannot afford to pay for her education. She was only able to go up to Standard 7, but now she stays home and helps out with house chores. Then eight months ago she joined the Young Reporters Network in Mbeya.

“I am the oldest in my family and have three younger siblings. To be honest I don’t see any hope of me being able to complete my education and becoming a doctor. But I do believe in supporting children’s rights, especially that all children should have a right to a quality education. The economic situation of many families is very poor, and so many families want their children to go to school but they don’t have the money to do so. As a young reporter I can share their stories and struggles and encourage children to study hard so they can make the most of their opportunities.”

Leticia, 16 yrs, Kasulu

Leticia, 16 years, Kasulu

“The Young Reporters’ Network has helped me to know a lot of things about children’s rights. In the beginning I used to be very scared while learning but as I got to know more I became brave, now I can do my work well. As a young reporter there are some challenges I personally face which include poor eye sight. When they write I cannot see properly and when they read I cannot keep up. However this does not stop me from doing my part and I am able to contribute my thoughts, for example in the discussion session and other work.”

Rhoda, 18

Rhoda, 18 years, Mbeya

Rhoda has been a young reporter for eight months – she joined through Restless Development’s project called ‘Girls to be Leaders.’ She comes from a large family in Mbeya and is the second of five children. She successfully completed her Form 4 studies, but her parents were unable to afford to pay for her to continue with her education. Now she is at home helping out with the small family business - selling salt and nuts.

“I enjoy being a young reporter, it has helped to learn about my rights as a child and a girl. For me, the most important right is the right to be protected and the right to be respected.” For Rhoda, being a young reporter is helping to make a difference in her community as people are becoming more aware of child rights through their children’s radio programme. “Before becoming a young reporter, I didn’t know how to use media to advocate for child rights. Now I understand my rights and girls’ rights, and how to report them on radio to help raise awareness in my community. I truly believe that society will change for the better because of the education they get through our radio programme.”

Cecilia, 14 yrs, Moshi

Cecilia, 14 years, Moshi

“We have learned to talk to people who previously we could not talk to. We have learned for example, if a teacher is teaching and asks you if you understand and you don’t, you should speak up.”

Salum, 16

Salum, 16 years, Pemba

Salum’s father passed away in an accident a few years ago, and he now lives now with his mother who is HIV infected, and with his three siblings. He is the oldest child in his family. His mother supports him as a young reporter and was happy when he joined the group. Salum is wearing a t-shirt about child protection, and he explains that the t-shirt came from an event commemorating the Day of the African Child where he participated as a young reporter. “Now I wear it to publicize the message that children and women should be protected.”

His dream is to become an electrician and the Young Reporters Network provides him an opportunity to experience and learn about radio production which he really enjoys.