Feature: Namibian children voice for themselves through self-produced radio programs

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 14, 2023
Adjust font size:

WINDHOEK, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- A group of Namibian children on Monday recorded audio programs to be aired on the national Namibian Broadcasting Corporation.

Mathew Haipare, 13, along with his peers, was speaking his mind about social issues of children's concern in a studio, dubbed Uitani Childline Radio, in Windhoek, the capital of Nambia.

As a brainchild of Lifeline Childline Namibia, an institution that provides free counseling to locals, the studio was launched in 2005 to allow children to drive their own messaging for greater impact.

The content, which is produced from the studio and lasts 30 minutes to an hour for one show, is pre-recorded and aired on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation and social media platforms.

Stanley Similo, director general of Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, said the children's program is broadcast every Saturday morning and has grown into a popular slot for local children keen to be informed about their rights.

"It has reached children in the deepest rural areas, and its impact is immeasurable," he said.

About 20 children are currently attached to the studio as presenters, creating content, said Elizabeth Hamurenge, the coordinator of the studio, who guides the young presenters, and oversees the quality of the programs.

According to her, since its establishment, the studio has given young people a place to advocate for their peers through content appropriate for their age and speak their minds.

"I wanted to join it because I have been trying to help homeless kids. I wanted to use my voice to be their voice," said Haipare, who joined the studio in February 2022. Haipare's role includes conducting research on the topics and interviewing experts to provide better insight into the issues.

With the guidance of the coordinator, Haipare chooses topics ranging from bullying, abuse, careers, and internet safety to empowering youngsters to tackle social challenges.

"It has not only allowed me to demonstrate my talent, but is resourceful to kids because we talk what kids talk about, and nobody knows children's struggles like children do," he said.

The children-produced shows have become instrumental in shaping the mindset of many children in Namibia, gaining children's trust, and becoming their confidante.

"I like listening to the shows because I learn new things and can relate to the topics. It has also allowed me to stand up for myself in difficult situations," said 14-year-old Eline David, an avid listener of the show.

Far and beyond the studio walls and instruments, the young aspiring presenters also undergo training to be equipped with technical and soft skills. "We were trained by professionals who taught us aspects like punctuality and conduct," Haipare said.

Haipare also got chances to travel to local places as part of the fieldwork, which he said has exposed him to different cultures and enhanced his understanding of the challenges children face. Away from the studio microphone, children in the community engage him on various topics he hosted on the radio and equally seek advice.

As Namibia joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Radio Day under the theme of "Radio and Peace" Monday, Haipare said the radio remains critical to fostering unity, and it has helped him exude passion for positively impacting the lives of fellow children.

"It is important because it helps our listeners to communicate about their daily struggles and help each other find solutions. Radio is a safe platform, and the more we find solutions to problems, the more we promote peace," he said.

The studio is sustained with funding from Lifeline Childline, donors, and key partners, said Hamurenge, the coordinator of the studio, adding that the studio is in the process of applying for a broadcast radio license to become an independent and live station, enabling more robust interaction of children and impacting children who face challenges in their communities. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter