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The Children's Radio Project

"We make the road by walking."

Paulo Freire

What is the Children's Radio?

The Children's Radio Project (CRP) is a project oft the Children's Resource Centre(CRC).The aim is to set up a radio station which will be run by children, for children and with children. Its immediate audience and target group will be the members of the Children's Resource Centre especially those who are situated in Khayalitsha, a residential area near Cape Town where the CRC has a concentration of children's groups. CRC This phase of the project will be for one year to enable the CRC to develop the capacity to sustain the children's radio. This phase will include the training of the co-ordinators and the members of the organisation (who are children between the ages of 7 and 14) who will eventually be responsible for the running of the radio project. Once this first stage of the project has been completed, the radio project will be extended to include the rest of the members of the CRC and children within the communities where it will be operative. The training of the children includes all aspects of radio work.

* Broadcasting

* Production

Focus of radio

* Our audience for the first year will primarily be children who are members of the groups affiliated to the CRC with specific emphasis on those groups situated in the area of Khayalitsha.

What are our objectives?

* to train a group of people within the CRC(adults and children)who will be able to sustain the Radio Project of the CRC: Broadcast radio programmes for children by children and with children.

* to strengthen and consolidate the children's groups affiliated to the CRC and to popularise the work it is doing amongst others by giving children a voice.

* to develop and produce radio programmes of an alternative nature that will incalculate a set of values that will contribute to the creation of a qualitatively better way of live for themselves and the communities in which they live.

* to develop a long term strategy for the Children's Radio beyond 1996.


* Our constituency is predominantly working class children of all language groups(Afrikaans & Xhosa)in both the rural and urban areas. These are primarily children in the primary school but the CRC works with them after school.

Whose responsibility?

The Radio Project is the responsibility of the CRC who has appointed two members of the organisation to co-ordinate it, a Co-ordinator and a trainee assistant.

Bush Radio, a Community Radio Network, has been approached to assist with the training programme of the Children's Radio.

Surveys conducted in the community have revealed much support for a children's radio. And, with the assistance of the National Community Radio Forum(NCRF),broadcasting will start as soon as our application for license has been favourably considered by the authorities.

Why is the Children's Radio Project so important?

The degree of progress or backwardness in any country can be measured directly by the level of protection and security the children receive within the country .Under the old order, children, like most of the population, had absolutely no rights. In fact, the record will reflect that under Apartheid, children were the most abused section of the population.

As part of empowering children to speak for themselves and demanding their rights which will be included in the new constitution, the CRC sees the children's radio it is setting up as playing an important role in that process.

Children's Radio Equally important could be the role that a children's radio could play in enabling children to make a bigger contribution to transforming South Africa into a better place for all, especially for the children of the country who constitute almost 35% of the population, that is, over 10 million people.

South African children, like the children in many other countries, are faced with many very serious problems and difficulties. There is a high rate of child abuse, crime and violence, poverty, homelessness, lack of education, etc.

And the media, rather than assisting children in dealing with these problems, presents these problems in a way that disempowers children.

Very little is offered to show that there is an alternative and that children, through their own efforts, can be active participants in the process of building a better way of life for themselves and others.

Also there is enough evidence to show that more people, especially in the rural areas, have more access to a radio than a television. Even more important, South Africa still has a high rate of illiteracy. The radio, therefore has the potential to reach more people.

Hopefully, with the dawn of a new era in our country, greater attention will be given to the voices of children. Children's Radio can certainly make a substantial contribution to this process.

Where will the Children's Radio Station be situated?

The Children's Radio Station will be situated in the Western Cape more specifically in the residential area of Khayalitsha. Initially it will have a broadcasting radius of 5 Km.

Once the project has been shown to be a success, it will be extended to include the other areas where the CRC has children's groups. This is a completely new experience in the history of South Africa. It has great potential, but we first need to show that we can start it. It is therefore important that we start on a scale that we can manage.

When do we hope to start?

The intention is to start in February 1996 or as soon as our license has been granted by the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority).

How do we intend proceeding with the project?

The aim is to first train the two co-ordinators of the radio project and about eight carefully chosen members (children) from the ranks of the children's groups. The CRC has a approximately 1200 children who are members of over 50 groups affiliated to it.

Every attempt will be made to collect as much information through surveys and interviews with children and adults in the communities and organisations working with children. Much of this will be done by the children themselves.

Who is the CRC and what is the Children's Movement?

The CRC was established more than thirteen years ago as part of an effort to develop and cultivate new ways of getting children to grow up and live. Right from is birth, the aim was to incalculate a sense of sharing and caring for each other. This was done through our programmes which consisted of the non-competitive games, toymaking, gardening, child-to-child health care programmes, etc. The Children's Radio and Youth Commune Project are two of the CRC's more recent projects.

We have identified our target group as working class children of primary school-going age, this is, the seven to thirteen year old children, in the areas where they live, stay and attend school.

We are situated mainly in the Western Cape, more particularly the Cape Peninsula. We have, however, also worked with children in other parts of the country ( the Eastern Cape, Northern Transvaal, Natal and even in Namibia). Work in other parts of the country is mainly done through the Trust for Christian Outreach and Education.

The work with children is done almost exclusively on a voluntary basis by unemployed working class women for whom the CRC has conducted a range of education and training programmes over the years.

Much of the work of the CRC has done has been made possible with financial assistance from South African Church organisations and from German donor agencies.

For this CRC we will be needing as much assistance as possible of all kinds from local institutions and organisations.

Contact Address, Telephone, Fax Details:

The Children's Resource Centre
Community House
Salt River Road
Salt River
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: (021) 475757 Fax: (021) 478597
E-Mail: crcchild@iafrica.com

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