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#Indundi | diasporaUNICEF Child Journalists program in Burundi: a paradox?

By Miss Pilipili / Published on Monday, 09 Jan 2017 14:03 PM / No Comments / 122 views
Photo © UNICEF Burundi/2016/J.Haro

As many people know, UNICEF is a renowned non-profit organization that promotes the rights and well-being of children in developing countries across the world. Since 1964, UNICEF Burundi has provided humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and their families through various programs.

But there is one new initiative that presents a paradox in a country known for its censorship of the press  : the Child Journalists radio program.  Although the project is great at providing aspiring journalists the basic skills in the field, there is also the harsh reality of the limited freedom of speech and press in Burundi. Just recently, the government dismantled-yet another- Human Rights association, Ligue Iteka, for speaking out against the government.

So it’s no surprise that the Child Journalists show doesn’t cover politics or any controversial issues .  The discussions pertains to topics regarding the youth such as, what makes a happy childhood and how to express ideas through the internet and blogs. Don’t get me wrong, those are nice conversations to have. But how relevant are those soft topics in a country that is in turmoil? Do they help in changing anything?

One might wonder if this UNICEF project is setting up young Burundians for failure as they are not free to be outspoken reporters in their own country.

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