Kingsley Obeng-Kyereh is the coordinator of the Children and Youth in Broadcasting – Curious Minds in Ghana. He is no stranger to the ICDB and its mission… Curious Minds and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation have won the West Africa Regional ICDB Award numerous times and in 2008, they took home the global ICDB Award for Radio.
He sent me this call to action to fellow broadcasters to urge them to participate in the ICDB 2011. He has seen firsthand the impact the youth participation can have on children:
ICDB 2011 CALL TO ACTION
I had just finished talking to eleven-year old Daniel. For his age, he gave incisive responses to my questions and after everything he said, “thank you for the opportunity.” It sounded like the normal thing expected but as I looked at him I was struck by the look on his face. One of satisfaction. One that told me without words that he appreciated the chance to speak about issues that affected him. It was a rare radio opportunity for a child of his age but here he had the chance. When I asked for one important comment he had to make, he raised his head, looked at one of the posters in my office and read a line out- “What is more precious than a child?”
On regular basis, I have found satisfaction talking to such ones and sharing their joy. Some are of very little means but they value being given that respect and being treated with respect as a guest. In my work as a Producer and Coordinator of young people’s programmes, I have observed with keen interest first timers and their experience on the microphone. Sometimes during post-production discussions you see their excitement and the expression “today, I spoke” tells it all. Working with young people is exciting and rewarding. They do not give you money, they won’t lobby. The honesty to be part of it and the tendency to say it as it is all make it more exciting. Some, because of shyness, will not like to speak but they still cherish the chance to be part of the crew making a programme happen. There are those who create the fun around and there are those who are ever providing new links to stories. No matter the perspective they are coming from, an interested person will always find it exciting being with them and actively promoting their interest and letting others know what they think and the suggestions they have to make.
Here we are at the threshold of making things happen once again for all young people around the globe with the celebration of the INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY OF BROADCASTING. Are you a broadcaster? Do you have a regular access to the electronic media? This is the time to make it count for young people and our world. I often say that we are ever heard of. What about that small voice that is told to wait till he is grown? What happens to his or her worthy suggestions and incisive input? Certainly as Ghana’s plan of action after signing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stated, THE CHILD CANNOT WAIT. One has only 18 years to be in this category. Yes, it is time to give children a chance and make their voices and their worth count. Be there for them.
As the theme says, all are important when we are talking about children’s development. Let us make the smile on their faces count this season. As usual, the CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN BROADCASTING-CURIOUS MINDS are out to make it count. As we work with the national broadcaster, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, on the different networks, other children apart from the regular crew will also have the chance to say something in line with their development. There is a great reward thereafter. The smile of satisfaction, knowing that you were part of a great programme that made children happy. No money can buy it.
On your marks, get set, let’s go…. It’s ICDB 2011. Don’t miss the train.