World Cup in My Village
For fourteen year-old Inonge Sitali, a radio dialogue with her peers about the 2010 FIFA World Cup is an opportunity for her to talk about gender issues in her local community of Mongu in western Zambia.
“I disagree with the guys out there who are saying that football can not be played by girls,” Inonge says. “It only needs concentration, and also discipline and skill, not just because they are males they are the only ones who can play football. We all have the right to play any sport.”
Some of the boys and girls in the group are on her side, but others are not so convinced. “Football is a very hard sport, and it requires maximum power to perform, so girls are not suitable to play it,” says eighteen year-old Pedrou Kakorio.
Click below to listen to the conversation.
Both Pedrou and Inonge were trained as youth journalists as part of World Cup in my Village, a project of UNICEF, the Children’s Radio Foundation, and other community partners. Using audio recorders, cameras, and flip video cameras, young people in Mongu, Zambia and Rubavu District in Rwanda have been given the tools and the skills to tell their own stories.
The project gives them the opportunity to report on pressing issues affecting young people in their communities, and to share their experiences and concerns with the rest of the world. Their audio reports will be broadcast on local, national, and international radio stations, and additional media content will be posted on the Children’s Radio Foundation’s website and disseminated via other social media platforms.
In addition to media trainings, World Cup in My Village will provide access to the World Cup matches to youth in areas of Zambia and Rwanda where there is little to no electricity or broadcasting service. Large open-air screens and projectors have been set-up and the matches will be screened from 11 June to 11 July. In addition to the football matches, special public service announcements produced by UNICEF and partners will provide the audience—largely cut off from mainstream sources of information—with information about education, health and child protection.
The public viewing spaces will also be used for community events such as youth soccer games and educational activities on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. During the halftimes of the World Cup matches, the trained youth journalists will conduct interviews with their peers and host live radio talk shows to sensitize fellow youth about community issues.
17 year-old Mubanga Chimywembe says that radio is a great way to reach out to youth in her area, and that she wants to use her new skills to inspire them to listen and to act. “I want to change the youth out there in Zambia, so they become better citizens in the future.”
Mubanga plans to organize radio debates about HIV/AIDS with other young Zambians in her region during World Cup in My Village, and to encourage them to go for voluntary counseling and testing. “As youth, let us work hand in hand and unite for whatever action that we take,” she says. “Let’s not just bring up anything without action—they said that anything said without an action is dead.”