We are very happy to receive word that Comic Relief will be helping us re-start our radio literacy programme ‘Speak Up!’ in South Sudan targeting young people, girls, people with disabilities and people displaced by conflict.
In honour of this, we wanted to share a story of one of the journalists who helped create our radio lessons.
Angelo was one of four journalists from across South Sudan who was selected to help AET develop the radio lessons. He was born and went to school in Yambio. Angelo knew of Africa Educational Trust before the Speak-Up! project because he had previously attended one of our IT and computer training course. He said when he saw the advert for the job at the AET ROLE Centre, he hoped he would get it because of his interest in journalism. When he did, he was so proud of his role that he made his own business card for the project.
Angelo along with the four other journalists helped create lesson focused on different social issues in South Sudan and collect stories. As well as collecting the stories, they were also the voice of the radio literacy programme, featured on the broadcasts. Angelo says when he hears his voice he is really proud. His whole family and neighbours gather to listen to him on the radio. They call out their answers and reply to the questions. “When it is almost 3:00 pm, I tell my people, now you turn on the radio because the programme will soon come.” When they hear me they shout out “that is you talking! That is you!” He says people have asked him if they can also be in the Speak Up classes and his friends tell him they wish their voices were part of the programme.
Working for Speak Up! has helped give Angelo a focus in his career. He explained “before I didn’t know anything about journalist but now I really am empowered to know how to record and edit the interview. At first, I was fearful to talk but now I am OK. I think I will become a full-time journalist in the future.” 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 now have no other form of income. Angelo could support his four younger siblings as well as his parents with the salary he earns as a journalist.
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 try 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 will be like one person.”
We believe that this next stage of ‘Speak-Up’ will continue to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and experience and give them the chance to learn!