The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Sierra Leone on Saturday ended a three-day workshop on the “Training of Child Producers” at the Manariella Restaurant in Freetown.
The children were drawn from various radio stations within Freetown.
During the three days workshop, the children discussed “Who is a radio Producer?” “Techniques for Radio Writing”, “Preparing for an Interview”, “Children’s Right”, “What is Violence?”, “Reporting on Children” and a lot more on radio journalism.
Abdul Kuyateh from the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), at the opening ceremony, told the children that the day was not the first time for many of the children to get training in such programmes but that this one was special.
He told them that they were to receive training in basic skills of broadcasting, but that this was the first in its kind as the target was reaching almost all the radio stations and not only the Voice of Children on Radio UNIOSIL.
Mr Kuyateh talked of the other forms of journalism within the country but that the radio in the electronics media was the most powerful.
He told the children that the challenges were huge and urged them to take the exercise very serious.
Alison Parker, UNICEF’s communications officer, explained how her organization was pleased to undertake the training of children in radio production.
“I know you are all aware that one of the main pillars, one of the key principles within the conventions on the Rights of the Child is the issue of child participation,” she intoned.
Asking the children how many of them do listen to the radio, watch television, read newspapers; the hands of the children went smaller and smaller as she went on.
She then highlighted that research had shown that “kids like listening to themselves.”
With this training the children, she said, could even be in place to invite the presidential candidates and look at their manifestoes to know what was there for the children.
She asked the children to pay good attention as the knowledge they would be getting would help them to improve the output of their programmes on their various radio stations.
Ten-year-old Mary Fofanah of Radio Mount Aureol spoke of her expectations of the workshop to be a learning zone for her, whilst 13-year-old Mohamed Y Sesay of the Forum of Children Network said he expected to learn how a good producer should be.
Francess Munu of the Believers Broadcasting Network said she wanted to be a good producer in such a way that she would be able to fight for the rights of other children.
Patricia Dawah of the Citizen Radio said she aimed to use what she had learnt for her radio station to be the best in the country.
The training ended with the children making good presentations.