Children Speak Out Lesotho: News written for children by children
Between November and December 2019, the Media Institute of Southern Africa – Lesotho Chapter (MISA Lesotho) trained 30 children on media, child rights and how the children can use media platforms to discuss their issues of concern.
This was made possible with support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Lesotho.
Named Children in Media, the programme was initiated to meaningfully celebrate the World Children’s Day (November 20) under this year’s theme: For Every Child Every Right. The celebrations also marked 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC30).
Strategically, MISA Lesotho trained 30 children to compliment CRC30.MISA Lesotho worked together with community radio stations, specifically Mose ho Seaka (Pheshakwe Qqili) of Quthing and Moeling of Botha-Bothe, to identify the children in Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing, Berea, Leribe and Botha-Bothe.
It is important to note that the children are not only trained to become media professionals, but the long term goal is to unleash their leadership potential. The idea is for them to be exemplary and become ideal leaders in families, villages, schools and any other groups they are part of. The idea is to build and capacitate them over the years to instill confidence and a sense of responsibility in them.
So, things going right, we will engage the same children on the next training level save for those that will then be plus 18 years.
While this may look like it is a monopoly engineered for same group of children, MISA Lesotho undertakes to trim the group by exempting and causing graduation of those that reach 18 years to make way for new children into the group.
Already there are children who joined the programme from as far back as in 2012 in the group; today we regard them as ambassadors of Children in Media. The trained children have further committed to sharing the knowledge with others in the villages and schools.
Children Speak Out is a special publication meant to showcase part of what the children are capable of doing. It is the first, but hopefully no last, children’s newspaper aimed at focusing on issues of concern by the children, authored by the children and tailored for their consumption.
This edition comprises of 17 stories, excluding this editorial comment, developed by the children from ideas.
MISA Lesotho wishes to pass special thanks to UNICEF Lesotho for support of this programme. We wish to further thank all people that contributed to the success of the training. Until next time, for every child, every right!
Acting National Director
About MISA Lesotho
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Lesotho was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.