June 19, 2010

From the Rwandan World Cup Village – Preparing Voices of Youth for Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 am by kampala2capetown

In the week leading up to the World Cup, UNICEF, One UN in Rwanda, and the Children’s Radio Foundation worked with the  K2CT Rwanda community host, Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle to select a cohort of 15 young people to learn how to become radio journalists who could then launch their journalist careers during the World Cup.

The trainings were set to be hosted by Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle (VN) is an ideal partner for the project; having started in 2002 and in its 8 years the organization and its facilities has become a beehive of youth activity. There is always something going on, be it a basketball game on their indoor court, an HIV/AIDS education seminar, or traditional dance troupe working on choreography.  VJN was looking to expand for a program in youth journalism and even launch community radio station, so the timing was perfect. However, before bringing in the youth to be trained at VJN, a local group of Rwandan’s were selected for a “trainer of trainers” session. A trainer of trainers session is to prepare adults in the community to assist in training youth journalists and also to be the leaders of developing youth journalism and training other youth journalists after the international trainer leaves.

(Sue Valentine, CRF Executive Director playing example radio reports for trainees)

So exactly one week before the World Cup Sue Valentine, director of the Children’s Radio Foundation arrived into the village of Gisenyi and set-out to lead 6 local Rwandans to become versed on how to give youth a voice through radio broadcasting. The training group included 3 local community radio personalities, 2 VJN Staff and on technical expert from the Rwandan Film Festival.

(Ayuub, a trainee, learning how to use the digital recorder)

Immediately the group took to Sue’s hand’s on approach to learning about radio. They listened to children’s programs that Sue had produced in South Africa and were inspired by how clear and vibrant a child’s voice can come through audio alone.  They worked with the digital recorders to learn the technology and

(Florence and Jean Claude, local radio personalities, practice the talk show format)

Sue explained the different formats the children can use, commentary, talk show format, public service announcements and then the trainees recorded samples and listened back to improve their technical skills.  At the end of the two days the trainees has a basic understanding of how to conduct the different formats and great insights into how children can be given a unique voice through radio journalism.

(The VJN Youth Journalists)

With the arrival of the 15 youth  there was an instant energizing the trainees with their enthusiasm and motivation. The youth, aged 14-20 sat attentive and literally would hang on Sue’s every word and demonstration.  “Getting to know you” exercises put everyone at ease, and by the end of the first day the youth  were expressing themselves on issues ranging from what it means to be a Rwandan to how much school prepares them for the world outside the classroom.

(Two youth journalists, practicing interviewing at a local soccer match)

By the final day of youth training, the youth journalists were ready to test out their new skills in the field. The group went to a “Football for Peace” event organized by the German Embassy in Rwanda. By the end of trainings the kids were starting to see themselves as journalists and are ready to be reporting from the field so stay tuned!

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