Empowering Tanzanian Youth - Engaging Communities: An experiment in participatory communication

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Empowering Tanzanian Youth - Engaging Communities: An experiment in participatory communication

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Publication 2-year master student thesis
Title Empowering Tanzanian Youth - Engaging Communities: An experiment in participatory communication
Author(s) Yarde, Rosalind
Date 2010
English abstract
ABSTRACT Young people, I believe, are the future of every society because they are the ones who will inherit our mistakes and who can potentially drive the change that we all aspire to, through their ideas, creativity and belief. Yet all too often they are marginalised, disregarded, even demonised. In Tanzania, 50% of the population is under the age of 18 years but they are rarely given a voice. This thesis reports on an experiment aimed at giving a voice to a group of marginalised young people in Northern Tanzania – former street children living in the town of Moshi, being cared for by an organisation called Mkombozi. The aim of the research was to investigate whether participatory radio converged with new ICTs, such as mobile telephony and the internet, could be effective communication tools to enable Mkombozi strengthen its youth empowerment and community engagement agenda and thereby help it move from being a ‘provider’ of services to a ‘facilitator’ that helps the community to bring sustainable change. The four young people who took part in the experiment were given free rein to make a radio programme about street children, backed by my technical expertise as a radio journalist. The programme was broadcast on a regional radio station and the audience was invited to take part in a live discussion using the phone, text messages and email. The results showed this to be an effective way of empowering the participants by giving them a voice to articulate their hopes and dreams, by inspiring them with self-confidence and self-respect and by allowing them to formulate their own demands for a better life. The programme they made provoked an overwhelming audience response, which connected the street children through dialogue with the community and engaged them in finding solutions to the issues themselves. Subsequently, there was a widespread consensus on the need for more participatory youth programming and investigation into how these communication tools might be developed further in order to find sustainable solutions at the grassroots level rather than through a ‘top-down’ approach.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) youth empowerment
participatory radio
community engagement
ICTs
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/10834 (link to this page)

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