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UNICEF Radio wins New York Festivals Award for series highlighting youth voices

© UNICEF Liberia/2010/Gordon
Emmanuel Woanyean, 16, from Monrovia, Liberia, is one of five young reporters who told their stories in the New York Festivals Award-winning UNICEF Radio series, 'Youth Voices from Around the World.'

NEW YORK, USA, 27 September 2010 – UNICEF Radio has won a New York Festivals award for an online series that featured the voices of young people struggling to overcome difficult challenges in Southern Sudan, Liberia and the Philippines.

With technology, training and audio equipment provided by UNICEF, the series empowered youth reporters to tell their stories directly to a global audience. (To listen to the stories, click on the audio links at right.)

The series – presented as ‘Youth Voices from Around the World’ – won the New York Festivals Bronze World Medal in the Best Online Radio category. Each of the reports, which ran on www.unicef.org from June 2009 through January 2010, provided insights into the perspectives of adolescents on the ground, including:

  • A 16-year-old in Monrovia grappling with the university fees he’ll have to pay to fulfil his dream of becoming an engineer
  • A sixth-grader dealing with the effects of typhoon floods that devastated metropolitan Manila late last year
  • A high school girl in Juba who is determined to become a pilot, even though it’s a highly unusual profession for a female in Southern Sudan
  • Another adolescent boy who lost his father in Sudan’s civil war and is struggling to pay his school fees while helping his family survive.

‘Issues that matter’

“We are honoured to be recognized," said Communication Officer and Assignment Manager Vivian Siu, who represented UNICEF’s Internet, Broadcast and Image Section at the New York Festivals International Radio Programming and Promotion Awards ceremony on 24 September.

© New York Festivals
UNICEF Radio has won a 2010 New York Festivals Bronze World Medal in the Best Online Radio category.

“But more importantly,” she added, “we thank you for recognizing these children and taking the time to listen to the issues that matter to them.”

Credit for the award-winning UNICEF series goes to youth reporters Tereza Kitale and Michael Lual in Southern Sudan and Emmanuel Woanyean in Liberia; UNICEF Radio producers Michael Kavanagh and Shia Levitt in New York; and senior producers Douglas Armour, Peter Abui and Bismarck Swangin in Sudan, and Louis Vigneault in Liberia.

Another report from Southern Sudan, in which 14-year-old Alfred Malish describes his alarm at seeing girls his age forced into early marriage, was selected as a finalist in the Best Online Radio category. 

Exceptional achievement

The New York Festivals, an industry group with representatives in some 65 countries, sponsors eight annual competitions recognizing exceptional achievement in broadcasting and communications. Each year, a jury composed of top industry professionals from five continents reviews hundreds of submissions before selecting finalists and award winners.

UNICEF’s fellow New York Festivals radio award winners this year include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, RTÉ Radio Ireland and the Voice of America, among many others.




UNICEF Radio series: 'Youth Voices from Around the World'

Emmanuel Woanyean, 16, from Monrovia, Liberia, wants to be an engineer but can’t afford the university fees.
AUDIO listen

Louie Mangali, a sixth-grader in metropolitan Manila, talks about his experiences during the floods in the Philippines.
AUDIO listen

Tereza Kitale, 17, talks about her dream of becoming a pilot.
AUDIO listen

Michael Lual, 17, reports on families struggling to pay school fees in Southern Sudan.
AUDIO listen

Alfred Malish, 14, reports on the problem of early marriage in Southern Sudan.
AUDIO listen

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