DILI, 25 October 2019 – With funding from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), selected students of the Social Communication Department of the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) are being deployed to work with community radio stations to promote birth registration in six municipalities of Timor-Leste. The students are being deployed to municipalities where registration is lower than the national average.
The internship programme was officially launched by Camilo Ximenes Almeida, Dean of the Social Communication Faculty of UNTL, Valérie Taton, UNICEF Representative in Timor-Leste, Misato Taki, Second Secretary of the Japan Embassy in Timor-Leste, and Crisogno da Costa Neto, Director General of the Civil Registry and Notary, Ministry of Justice, lecturers and students from the national university.
Under the programme, six university students will work with UNICEF supported community radio stations to help produce and broadcast radio programmes and messages on birth registration. The students will also go to communities, monitor radio programmes, track if community members they are listening to the radio programmes, understand the messages and are registering babies at birth.
The six students were selected from the Social Communications Department for the internship programme following a competitive process. These students will be based in Covalima, Ermera, Manufahi, Manatuto, Baucau and Viqueque municipalities and will work with community radio stations under the supervision of their respective professors. The aim of the internship programme is to enrich their knowledge and skills on radio journalism, while they also promote community engagement for birth registration.
UNICEF is also providing equipment to the Secretary of State for Social Communications (SECOMS) that will be distributed to community radio stations to help them develop programmes and messages promoting birth registration.
“The students and radio stations will promote one of the most important rights for children, that of getting a legal identity and to make them known to the government and its partners who work for the development of children and communities. If they are not registered, they do not exist on any official records, and are thereby at risk of being excluded when services and protection are being planned and provided,” says Valérie Taton, UNICEF Representative in Timor-Leste.
The internship programme is part of a partnership between the UNTL and UNICEF signed in 2017 to promote child rights. Under this partnership, UNICEF Timor-Leste is supporting UNTL to enhance the capacity of faculty members and students of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Education, Arts and Humanities, with a particular focus on the Department of Social Communication and the Peace and Conflict Studies Center, as well as with other relevant University faculties and departments.
The support from UNICEF to UNTL and SECOMS is part of a wider programme that promotes birth registration across Timor-Leste.
UNICEF’s birth registration programme is funded by the Government of Japan.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.