Reaching street-living children with radio

Mungongo ya Mwana (The Voice of a Child) is a project with our partner the Children’s Radio Foundation, and it teaches radio skills to street-living children and young people in Kinshasa, DRC, while allowing them to address issues that matter to them and their peers.

Mungongo ya Mwana radio shows have changed so many people..[youth reporters are]..producing shows on behalf of our fellow children living on the street, and talking to everyone.

Often facing stigma, children and young people are empowered to speak about their lives, challenge their treatment and explore their experiences through the project.

Broadcast on an FM station in Kinshasa and on market radio, the programmes are shaping community attitudes towards street-living children.

Young reporter Samuel Mutshiri on the rooof of the Gambela market (©Sydelle Willow Smith)

Youth reporter Samuel says: "Mungongo ya Mwana radio shows have changed so many people. Women especially are very happy to see us street children who were not taken seriously and never acknowledged, producing shows on behalf of our fellow children living on the street, and talking to everyone. This has taught them a lot and they have changed their attitude towards us."

Coordinator Joachim Ambambo and Young Reporter Dorcas Belangi(©Sydelle Willow Smith)

Cast out of the home and often abused and abandoned when accused of witchcraft, young people face further challenges when homeless and living on the streets of Kinshasa.  The young reporters are challenging these damaging beliefs and advocating for themselves using radio.  

Read more: Radio helps Children Speak for Change in DRC

Next steps...Drama to raise awareness

Feba is also helping to produce a radio drama to highlight sensitively the impact of witchcraft accusations on children, using the stories of street-living children as a basis, to educate parents and the wider community. This will enhance the impact that the radio programmes are already having, using drama to discuss difficult community issues.  A member of a listening group says:

“Thanks to these shows in our local language, we are able to understand easily the issues that these kids encounter in the streets together with the many reasons that force them to leave their families.”

Please continue to pray for this project:

  • Many children are living on the street as a result of witchcraft accusations. They face a widespread stigma and are either ignored or actively abused. Pray for the team and church leaders who are working to challenge this situation.
  • Please pray especially for street-living girls who are vulnerable and under threat of sexual violence. Please pray for their protection and for healing of the traumas they have experienced.
  • Pray for the radio programmes which are aired in a large market and broadcast on an FM station. Pray that they would help change the community’s attitude to street-living children.

Watch this short video on YouTube which tells the story of Samuel who is a Children's Radio Foundation and Feba youth reporter.  Despite living in a shelter and having no home or family, Samuel has managed to find his voice through radio.

The video was made by Makhulu Productions as a gift to our partner The Children's Radio Foundation.

[images on this page copyright of Sydelle Willow Smith]