Last year Aurora fund sponsored UNICEF Iceland’s project in Mozambique. It is a prize winning radio project with children and young people in Mozambique. In order to give you an idea of what the children are doing we have here a short narrative that UNICEF sent to us about the work that is done at this radio station and the influence it has on the life and work of the children in the country.
The Mozambique children’s radio – Peer tutoring and children’s participation in society
Every Saturday morning thousands of children turn on the radio to listen to Paulo Manjate, a sixteen year old radio broadcaster who has a popular show on the children’s radio in Mozambique.
“Good morning everyone, you are listening to the radio show ‘Happy class’ and we welcome all of you” says Paulo and this is how he starts his live program from a radio station in Mozambique. This radio show is a part of a larger project where children produce the radio programme for their peers. UNICEF supports the children in the production but they decide themselves the content of the programme and how they present it.
For almost an hour the young listeners have an opportunity to take part in competitions, listen to their favourite music and receive advice from other young people who share their interests and difficulties.
“Our shows are important because they give us a chance to inform other children about our rights,” says Paulo.
What makes the shows even more popular among children is that they are not only recorded in the studio. Paulo and his team, all young people of his age, often go out with microphones and a broadcasting van and meet their peers on their home ground.
“We often have broadcasts from schools and festivals – in fact we broadcast from wherever we find groups of children and young people that we can communicate with,” says Paulo.
After the radio show is over, around noon on Saturdays, Paulo goes back to his family and friends where he gets inspiration for his next show.
UNICEF has sponsored the children’s show at Radio Mozambique since February 2000. Radio Mozambique broadcasts 34 children’s radio shows all over Mozambique – 23 of them are in the local languages and 11 are in Portuguese. The programme of the shows is everything from discussions about violence and child abuse, HIV/Aids, health, education, environmental issues as well as music and entertainment.
The responsibility of the broadcaster
Narcisso is a 12 year old boy who is full of self-confidence. Every weekend he works at making shows for children for the radio station Xai Xai. Narcisso recently went to Chibuto region where he visited an elementary school to collect information about the problems facing elementary schools in the region.
“I like getting out of the studio because then I get a chance to investigate real issues and ask questions that other children would like to ask – I take that responsibility very seriously,” he says.
About 1000 children and young people take part in making radio shows all over Mozambique and they reach thousands of children all over the country. The radio project has grown rapidly in the last years and the popularity of the children’s shows has increased gradually. With this increase in interest more and more community radio stations have decided to offer shows for children and now about 50 smaller radio stations offer this entertaining and empowering service for children.