Each radio show revolves around a theme linked to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is broadcast on 110 radio stations across the region each week. According to the organisers, a big part of the project is the involvement of children and youth in the production and broadcasting of the programmes.
Each week, producers travel from village to village to train 12 children to produce and host radio shows. The project is designed to allow children to express themselves, gain valuable skills, and entertain their peers and families, while at the same time raising awareness of their rights and responsibilities. The programme's jingles as well as songs promoting child rights are also produced by young musicians.
The 30-minute radio shows are recorded live - a strategy for giving parents, community leaders, and local authorities the opportunity to discuss issues that are relevant and interesting to children. The goal is to thereby foster a greater interest and awareness of the needs, desires, and rights of young people in their communities.
Since Kids Waves has been used, adapted, and localised in different ways in each country, a brief description of each country's version is outlined below:
- Radio Gune Yi (Senegal) - According to the organisers, RGY was the first radio programme in West Africa produced by, for, and with children. On air since March 2005, RGY provided the base from which Kids Waves was developed. A television version, Télé Gune Yi, is currently being developed with national broadcaster RTS (Senegalese Radio Television).
- Deviwo Be Radio (Togo) - DBR was launched in December 2004. It has one main production partner station, and broadcasting is assured by 13 other private partner stations, rural or community, giving the programme airplay across the country. According to the organisers, the programme has had a significant impact on Togo's children and adults.
- Bibir Radio (Burkina Faso) - Launched in April 2005, this programme was broadcast in French and four local languages through February 2009. Child hosts hailed from diverse communities and localities where Plan works. Professional journalists from the national broadcaster supervised production. A total of 127 radio shows were produced in 127 communities for broadcast on 12 partner stations across the country. The children who participated set up 15 Bibir radio clubs in order to continue child rights promotion. One of the radio partners, "Radio La Voix du Lac", now offers his studio space for one hour per week so that the local radio club can broadcast a live radio show called "Les enfants à l'antenne". The show, which also features a contest, is designed to allow children to discuss child rights and their needs and concerns.
- Eto Dodo Deviwo (Benin) - Launched in May 2005, the EDD programme broadcasts in French and four local languages. Recently, Plan Benin partnered with the Office of Radio and Television in Benin (ORTB) to produce TV programmes to complement the radio show. In addition, Plan supports Radio Tokpa in their programme, Dimanche des Enfants, which gives children a half-day radio show on the last Sunday of each month. They discuss child rights and their needs and problems with adults and peers. The children are trained by professional journalists in gathering news and writing content. In this way, these shows complement those made by EDD and ORTB.
- Demisenw Kun Kan (Mali) - Launched in July 2005, the project has also supported the formation of 45 children's clubs to promote child rights. The programme is produced by the Office for Radio and Television Mali, and broadcast on 13 partner radio stations across the country.
- La Voix de Finda et Alpha (Guinea) - Launched in March 2006, this programme is, according to the organisers, possibly one of the most popular shows for young people in Plan's operational zones. It broadcasts in five languages.
- Pikin Dem Voice (Sierra Leone) - This programme was launched in May 2006. Prior to the launch, a recording session of stories of "I am a child but I have my rights too!" was held in the production studios in the Moyamba District Children's Awareness Radio (MODCAR) in August 2005. A two-week jingle and music workshop was also conducted in Freetown in March and April 2006 with the support of WARO radio technicians.
- Yen Adwen (Ghana) - These radio shows, hosted by children themselves, discuss various subjects : parents' separation/divorce, drugs, protecting children's private lives, parents' responsibilities, hygiene, protection of the environment, teenage pregnancy, water and sanitation, etc.
- I am a child but I have my rights too! (Cameroon) - Launched February 27 2007 following the training of radio presenters in May 2006 in Yaoundé, this initiative involves 18 partnering radio stations assuring the broadcast and coordination of short sketches related to various child rights and played by children in French and English.
- I am a child but I have my rights too! (Liberia) - Dozens of children were chosen and trained by professional actors to play short sketches linked to different child rights. These sketches have been recorded on CD and broadcast on various partner radio stations.
The Plan regional child media website provides details on Kids Waves and its activities in each country as well as on all the radio shows produced.
In addition to the radio programmes, Plan has produced two guides to help children and trainers prepare radio shows in the Kids Waves framework. They have also produced an information guide on child rights that can be used for planning and preparing shows.
Click here to view the Children's Guide for Pikin Dem Voice in PDF format.
Click here to view the Trainer's Guide for Pikin Dem Voice in PDF format.
Click here to view the Information Guide for Pikin Dem Voice in PDF format.