Youth radio dialogues on climate change and sustainable livelihoods across Africa
Despite projections that many parts of Africa will be severely affected by climate change impacts, many young Africans are disconnected from international climate action. Many feel powerless to mitigate climate change or protect the natural resources in their communities. While national contexts vary radically across Africa, rapidly growing African cities are being targeted by multinational corporations for market expansion, and youth are often the focus of this campaign to expand the consumer base. Unfortunately, there has been little consideration of the contribution of this accelerated consumption to climate change and environmental degradation – problems that are likely to drastically worsen the burden on communities in lower-income countries.
This project kickstarts transformational discussions around climate change and consumption across six African countries through enabling youth to produce and broadcast outreach programmes from 50 local radio stations. The project will integrate social media campaigns to extend the reach of radio and create platforms to support the adoption of sustainable, low-impact ways of living among communities not traditionally involved in environmental protection.
The Children’s Radio Foundation will provide 750 youth reporters with the tools and skills to interview community members, host debates and bring out local perspectives in their weekly youth-targeted programmes. Communicating in local languages, the reporters will drive long-term campaigns to: develop effective communication strategies to mobilise communities to map out their needs and shift unsustainable consumption patterns; share information and inspiring stories with new audiences; shift perceptions to encourage behaviour change; and collectively elevate these issues to the policy level using their own local experiences.
With 72 projects across six countries in Africa, the Children’s Radio Foundation (CRF) uses radio to create opportunities for information sharing, dialogue, leadership, advocacy and community building among youth. CRF’s vision is of a future with resilient young people across Africa shaping their futures and strengthening their communities through dialogue and action. To realise this, CRF partners with radio stations and community-based organisations, training youth to create well-informed, interactive programmes that are broadcast live on local stations. CRF reporters cover critical issues, such as climate change and the environment, education, health, human rights and gender-based violence.
Over the past five years, CRF has trained over 2,000 youth radio reporters (ages 13-25) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ivory Coast, Liberia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia, and reaches an estimated 15 million listeners.
Through this project, CRF aims to:
- Enable African youth to open up conversations about climate change and consumption through radio programmes that engage their local communities;
- Support local communities to adopt low-impact lifestyles in line with deeper consideration of their needs in relation to their consumption and climate change in their local area;
- Run long-term, local campaigns that collectively raise the issue to national-level policymaking fora.