The power of talking: at Uitani ChildLine Radio adults and children communicate with each other, which has led to improved understanding and self-confidence.
Subject: Radio programs (Social aspects)
Radio programs (Management)
Teenage girls (Social aspects)
Teenage girls (Beliefs, opinions and attitudes)
Journalists (Social aspects)
Journalists (Beliefs, opinions and attitudes)
Author: Ellis, Hugh
Pub Date: 12/01/2010
Publication: Name: Sister Namibia Publisher: Sister Namibia Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Sister Namibia ISSN: 1026-9126
Issue: Date: Dec, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs; 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management
Persons: Named Person: Amakali, Katherine; Amakali, Katherine; Andowa, Cecilia; Andowa, Cecilia
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Namibia Geographic Code: 6NAMI Namibia
Accession Number: 253447379
Full Text: We need to do something to make men and boys see we are also important, that we are good for something beyond cooking, cleaning and giving birth to their heirs," says Katherine Amakali, a 15-year-old learner at Windhoek High School.

Katherine is well-known among school-going radio listeners, because she is a reporter on Uitani ChildLine Radio, a radio show for children, largely made by children.

Her fellow reporter, Cecilia Andowa, 17, concurs. "Instead of telling young people that they are the future, they should make us FEEL like we are," she adds. "We need to be involved in things that will give us the morale to get up early in the morning and that will develop our leadership skills."

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Katherine's and Cecilia's confidence, rare among Namibian teenagers, goes beyond making statements and into the realm of making things happen. Cecilia, for example, was one of the main organisers of a cultural event for teenagers to take place in November in Outapi, Omusati Region. One of her tasks involved asking the Outapi Town Council for support. "When I wrote to them I just signed the letter 'Cecilia Andowa'; they had no idea I was 17 years old," she said. "Then they called me to a meeting. When I arrived they asked 'Who are you?' and they were shocked when I said 'I'm Cecilia Andowa.'"

Katherine is a producer of 'Music File', and has also worked on 'Parents' Corner' where they ask children's parents about issues affecting young people today. Talking to parents about issues such as bullying, drug abuse, HIV and AIDS and so on was "tough", Katharine says, but it did improve her own relationship with her parents. "You come to understand their point of view, even if you don't agree with it. You see where they are coming from."

Natasha Kayle has been managing the Child Line Media programme, under which Uitani falls, for the past six years. It is clear that for Natasha Child Line Media programme has become a calling as much as a nine-to-five job. In her time over 100 children between the ages 8 and 15 have worked as volunteers to help produce the Uitani ChildLine Radio show.

Some of the biggest challenges initially, says Natasha, were the many times children came to her asking for personal guidance. "Sometimes they came to see me if they were being bullied at school, or not doing well in classes, or even with sexual questions." It was heartbreaking to hear what some children went through, she adds, but she was also honoured that she was approached for support.

"I hope that it helped change situations. Sometimes you can only lend a listening ear, give support and refer the person to a trained counsellor or the authorities if need be." Natasha is also proud to see how most of the learners have grown in self-confidence, and in their technical abilities. "We just facilitate," she explains. "Essentially, they run the radio show."

You can catch 'Uitani Child Line Radio' on NBC National Radio on Saturdays from 9-10 AM, on Base FM on Saturdays from 7-9 AM, on Omulunga Radio on Sundays from 12-1PM and on Fresh FM on Sundays from 12-1PM.
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