28 young women and 3 young men teamed up with FemLINKPacific’s young women producers and broadcasters team in Labasa on day 2 of the first Rural Young Women’s Media and Advocacy Skills Training Programme made possible with assistance from the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA).
The 31 participants are finding new ways to raise their voices on issues which affect them the most by learning about appropriate and accessible radio production and technology ahead of their broadcast on Thursday:
“Discussions on the mat give youth more time and a space to share their stories, issues and their significant moments for 2010-2013,” said FemLINKPacific’s Alisi Matai who first joined the organisation through the Generation Next programme and now assists in organising and staging 16 hours of local broadcasts on FemTALK 89FM in Labasa town every month.
Many of the participants are out-of-school youth and so the training programme is an opportunity for them to not just speak about their issues but also feel good about themselves:
According to Alanieta, a participant: “I’m eldest in my family but I still haven’t had a chance to speak out on issues and be part of decision making, so I’m really thankful that by attending this training I’m able to gained more information on how I can raise my issue and my voice”.
Linking their issues to a human security framework the trainees have prioritised access and affordability to education, employment and disparities in development resulting in the inability to afford and access ICTs such as the internet.
It is envisaged that after the training participants will continue to contribute programmes to the FemTALK 89FM broadcasts not only in Labasa but in Suva and rural broadcasts organised by FemLINKPacific through it’s rural community media network which will enable them to continue to advocate for their human security, human development and human rights.
The organisation hopes to be able to conduct more trainings of this kind in the future.