Angelo was born and went to school in Yambio. He knew of Africa Educational Trust before the Speak-Up project, because he had attended one of our IT and computer training courses. He told us that when he saw the advert for the job to help create an English language radio education programme, he jumped at the opportunity and hoped he would get the role, because of his interest in journalism. When he did, he was so proud of his new job, that he made his own business card for the project.
Along with the four other journalists, Angelo helped create lessons that would not only teach English, but also focus on the relevant social issues and practical discussions. The team helped identify stories and interviewed people to provide content for the lessons. They were also the voice of the radio literacy programmes and were featured on the broadcasts.
Angelo says, when he hears his voice on the radio, he feels really proud and his whole family and neighbours gather to listen to him. “When it is almost 3:00 pm, I tell my people, you need to turn on the radio because the programme will soon start.” When they hear me on the radio, they shout out “that is you talking! That is you!” He says people have asked him if they can also take part in the Speak-Up classes and his friends tell him they wish their voices were part of the programme.
“…before I didn’t know anything about journalism, but now I feel really empowered…!”
Working for Speak-Up has helped give Angelo a focus in his career. He explains “now I know how to record and edit. At first, I was fearful to talk but now I am OK.” After working on the Speak-Up project, he says “People know me. When I am moving about, people ask me – ‘so what are you doing next?’”
Being part of the project has also helped him to support his family. His family used to be farmers, earning a living selling groundnuts, cassava and millet in the markets. However, they were forced to move from their village because of conflict and having left the farm, the family had no other form of income. Angelo now supports his four younger siblings as well as his parents, with the salary he earns as a journalist working for a local radio station.
Angelo also enjoyed the chance to work with other journalists, who would meet for training every six months. He says the best thing about the team is that “we are all from different clans, so I now know how to work with different people, the Bari, the Azande, the Dinka, plus John from London!” He says the team of journalists spent a lot of time talking with each other about their different cultures and trying and advise each other on what is good and what is bad so that they can solve issues together. He goes on to explain “you need to respect other people. People have different knowledge so when all these tribes come together you are like one person.”
Speak-Up is a twice-weekly radio education programme, which provides basic English education. Students can listen to broadcasts from home, or complete a 6-month tutored class if they wish to earn a certificate.
We believe that this next stage of Speak-Up will continue to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, giving them the chance to learn!
Radio lessons are low-cost, low-profile ways to provide lessons. This makes them perfect to reach large numbers of people, even when conflict continues to plague a region.
Africa Educational Trust has been using radio broadcasts and pre-recorded lessons to provide basic literacy and numeracy education across the regions where we work for over 15 years.
Monica was taken out of school for marriage, now with Speak-Up she is getting a second chance to learn.