WEEKLY HOT TOPIC: AIDS 2016 Youth Reporter Yolanda | Children's Radio Foundation

We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives

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Ahead of AIDS 2016, we hand over to some of our CRF interns to share their ideas and opinions on radio, and expectations of the global HIV/AIDS conference that they will be attending in Durban, South Africa from July 18 – 22.

I’m Yolanda Pityoi. I’m a bubbly, friendly, talkative and sometimes shy person. I use my voice to address or open conversations with young people to talk about some of the issues we face as youth. I like talking and listening to people, especially strangers, just to get a different perspective on things. I have this love for teens because they are so clever and honest.

As a young person growing up in a village where there was little access to health care services, I have always been disturbed by how we are so negligent about infectious diseases and viruses that we are exposed to. Now I live in Cape Town and have the opportunity to be involved in that sector, addressing issues like HIV and other STIs. What has been most interesting for me is working with young people who are affected and mostly infected by HIV, and exploring the way that their status is communicated to them.

One of the most powerful stories for me was a show that we did on Radio Zibonele FM, about parent to child disclosure; how parents communicate to their children about their HIV status, which I think is the most difficult thing for parents to do. To my surprise, most of the parents shared their own status to their young ones, and they have been getting much support from their kids, more than other family members.

Radio for me is the most powerful format. Unlike TV, you are less inhibited and more honest in what you say, as no one sees you. Radio can reach anyone, anywhere and you don’t have to stop what you are doing to pay attention. You listen to radio while doing household chores, and even on your phone.

I feel both nervous and excited about going to the AIDS 2016 Conference. I will have the opportunity to share with other young people what we as reporters do, how we report and broadcast. I feel excited about challenging people’s mindsets and engaging with people that I don’t know!

What I would like to see come out of the conference is for people to feel empowered. We have been given this chance to be at the conference and address important issues that we as youth face, so now we can do something about it in a positive and constructive way. My plea to young people is to stand up and voice out their frustrations and fears. We need to come up with solutions that will finally make a difference.

 

 

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