World Vision Lesotho in partnership with Child Counseling Unit , launched “Children’s Voice Newspaper". The paper as the name suggests is meant to help amplify the voice of children on issues affecting them.
“It is such fun to play around with the camera. A lot of us are holding a camera for the first time and it is exciting. it is also fulfilling to realize that we can be the eyes and the ears of other children. As writers we need to bring into the open issues affecting children at the grassroots level,” says one of the young journalists, Moeketsi Nkopa (18), also a former member of a children’s committee from Nthabiseng ADP.
Speaking during the launch, the Lesotho Minister of Labour, Mr. Khotso Matla, on behalf of the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology stated that he is glad to launch the paper which will deal specifically with the issues of children.
"We hope its reporters will work hard in bringing out issues affecting children. As coalition government we pledge to have a listening ear to issues affecting all sectors of the society but mostly children who are the future leader of this country,” he said.
Mr. Matla stated that it is easy for the youth of today to express feelings to their parents than it was in the past, therefore, it will be easier to express their feelings on how they see things.
He asked the newspaper reporters to visit his Ministry and learn how it works and learn about the effects of desertification in Lesotho.
UNICEF Representative Dr. Naqib Safi said he sees the newspaper as the platform that children and young people can use to educate each other on the many challenges that they face as they traverse their different journeys into adulthood.
'It is my hope that with this newspaper, children and young people in Lesotho will be equipped with skills on how to address the many challenges they face such as poverty, HIV and AIDS, drug abuse and many others," he stated.
World Vision Lesotho National Director Mr. Scott Lout said that is a great opportunity to see how children sees things in Lesotho and hopes the newspaper will play a vital role in helping them raise their voices.
Mr. Lout said the voice of children is not only for today but for the future and their voices are relevant all the time, saying, "It is their responsibility to talk about things which they feel affect their personal growth.
'We are happy that Freedom of Expression is existing in Lesotho unlike in other countries where children are deprived of their rights to speak their minds,' he stated.
The children were trained in basic news gathering skills by the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Lesotho chapter.