We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
For as far as he can remember, 31 year-old Peter Gbiako has been passionate about radio.
In primary school, he used to build radios from wood and wires, “But they were picking up all the frequencies at once,” he laughs. In high school, he started to intern at his local community station, Radio Liberté, in Gbadolite in the North Western Equateur province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2011, after seven years at Radio Liberté, mostly spent producing and presenting a youth show, Peter heard that the Congolese NGO APEE (Association for the Protection and Supervision of Children) was about to start a children’s radio station in the nearby town on Mbandaka. “It was the first time a kids radio was created in DRC, where children are very rarely heard on air. That’s why I wanted to be part of it,” he explains. He applied for the post of Director, got the job and hasn’t looked back since. “Most children in Mbandaka know me. They greet me in the streets. Lots of them have my phone number and when there is a problem, when a child is lost in the streets or gets beaten by his parents, they come to find me at the station.” Radio Muana broadcasts every day during the couple of hours when Mbandaka has access to electricity.
The radio has seven youth and children’s shows ranging from health to education and more than 40 children and youth come to the radio station to participate on live shows every week.
Peter and three of Radio Muana’s staff members were trained by CRF, in partnership with RFI Planète Radio, in August 2013.
How did you get involved with CRF?
I haven’t been involved with CRF for very long as we have just been trained, but it has been an amazing experience so far. I couldn’t believe that there was an organization doing specifically youth radio training. That’s the perfect fit for us!
What do you think makes our training program effective and unique?
The way things are taught through practice is very effective for me. It forces the participants, adults and youth, to immediately put the skills they are learning into practice. Also, I think the formats taught (audio profiles, audio commentaries) are very effective. I have been through many workshops, but that was all new to me.
What has been the highlight of your service?
As I said before, the training just finished but maybe the highlight for me was to see how much the youth present during the training grew in confidence in just a week. I am looking forward to training many more of them using what I learnt from CRF.
I am simply amazed when reading through and listening some sounds. amazing how street kids could advise parents to treat their children with dignity and not just accuse them of witchcraft!!! I hope these voices are heard. enough is enough is this phenomenon. we have lived with it and we live with its consequences today in our day to day life. at least something is being done about it. thanks CRF for the great job, we are all together in this struggle.
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