In the face of mass school closures, Pikin to Pikin Radio create and broadcast weekly educational radio programs — for children, by children.
In Sierra Leone, one of the effects of the ongoing Ebola crisis has been the closure of schools and other places of public gathering, in an attempt to help contain the virus. As a result, most local children have been kept home and out of education for nearing eight months. In an attempt to give these children some level of access to learning, Pikin to Pikin Radio is a collaboration between Child to Child and UK based Pearl Works productions — the station will broadcast weekly radio programs made for children, by children.
The eight-month long educational radio project will be based in the Kailahun region in eastern Sierra Leone, but the team will encourage contributions from children across the country, as well as from other parts of Africa where Child to Child is already working. There will be weekly programs for three different age ranges — four to six years, seven to twelve years and thirteen plus. Shows will be comprised of stories, poems, music and radio drama: the emphasis will be on inspiring and informing young people, as well as empowering them to spread health awareness messages within their community.
Radios are one of the main means of communication in the area and, since they are relatively low-cost, many people have access to one without needing to congregate in large groups, which would risk spreading the disease. The project, which is funded by Comic Relief, will give children a voice and train the next generation of Sierra Leonean radio presenters — enabling them to use the powerful medium themselves in the future.
Where else could a project like this flourish?