BOBAY: CHILD RADIO HOST & ROLE MODEL
“It is the opportunity to try something new that I like. It is the opportunity for personal development and participation in activities,” said Onsoudalath or Bobay, as she likes to be called.
Bobay lives with 5 other family members – grandma, father, mother, and older brother – in Borlikhamxay province, Lao PDR. She is a 15-year-old 11 grader at Paksan Upper Secondary School.
Like many children in Laos, Bobay gets up early in the morning and comes home early after school to help family with daily house works such as doing the dishes, doing laundry, cooking, and so on.
There is one thing that distinguishes Bobay, however. Besides engaging in other school and cultural activities, Bobay is a radio personality for in Borlikhamxay Children Cultural Center (CCC).
“I shared the information that I learned with my junior [younger] friends…and I also disseminated through the radio.”
Every Saturday, Bobay will go to CCC to work on the radio program that she is hosting. The program is called Child Volunteer for Development broadcasted through FM 101.5 MHz covering not only Borlikhamxay province but nearby provinces also.
To ensure that Bobay is equipped with tools and skills to raise awareness about child rights through this medium, Save the Children’s Child Rights Governance (CRG) team has provided training for Bobay and other hosts on a range of topics such as the four basic rights of children and other skills.
Bobay said, “I am very delighted that the project[CRG] has provided knowledge for me. For example, before, I did not know how to speak and negotiate with adults, to be confident in discussing, and to express my feelings. These led me to become a radio host.”
Ms. Khanhorm Xayyavong, Director of the Children Cultural Center in Borlikhamxay province, also witnessed the changes in Bobay. “The changes that I saw were that she has become more confident and been able to make suggestions, explanation, discussion with adults well,” stated Ms. Khanhorm. She continued, “We are proud that Bobay is able to develop herself very fast until she becomes talented and a good model to her friends and younger people.”
Bobay hopes to develop her skills more when she said, “I want the project to have training on information dissemination and child rights and other skills for the communities and the center [CCC]. I want to have training on new skills and knowledge such as how to host a program, perform drama show for awareness raising, and producing short stories for promoting child rights.”
In Save the Children’s current strategy, we are widening our reach through existing and new partnerships with both authorities and citizens to empower children and promote a society that listens and involves children in decision-making processes.
A stage play designed to both entertain and educate people on a particular issue.