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Using my voice to help other children

Augustine, left, with his mother, brothers and sisters.Photos courtesy of Plan staff.
Augustine, left, with his mother, brothers and sisters.

Photos courtesy of Plan staff.
The Bomi Child Rights Media club with Plan staff.
The Bomi Child Rights Media club with Plan staff.
April 30, 2010

Augustine is 17 years old and from Bomi County, one of the areas most heavily affected by the civil war in Libera. Many if not most of the children in the area have gone through extreme suffering and trauma due to the conflict, and many still see their rights ignored and abused.

Augustine’s parents, who are have never been to school, work their land to feed their 4 children. Despite this, Augustine’s greatest wish has always been to be a broadcaster.

Realizing a dream

Thanks to Plan’s Child Rights Media project which works throughout Plan programs in Liberia in partnership with Nokia, he was able to realize that dream.

Augustine’s first experience on the radio in 2008 was very frightening and made him want to give up, but the adult broadcasters working with the project encouraged him to have another go. With time and constant mentoring, he gained more confidence on the radio, and even decided to take part in the UN-supported "A Star is Born" competition, which uses music to promote social change, peace and development. Augustine made it all the way to the finals in the capital, Monrovia.

Rights and responsibilities

Alas, Augustine was awarded 2nd place, but he hopes that he’ll be the winner next time. Nevertheless, Augustine feels fulfilled: he has made a name for himself, his family, his school, and his community.

Augustine’s mother now uses the child rights media project to advise her son on his rights and responsibilities and the importance of both parents and children taking their responsibility seriously: “He now does his chores in the house well and in a timely manner. These days, he does not need constant supervision in doing his work."

 

Protecting children

“I have a copy of the rights and responsibilities of children on the wall at home, so all of us can be constantly aware of our rights and responsibilities towards each other.”

Augustine is a child rights advocate in his community and school. He is using the knowledge gained through the project to promote children’s rights and educate both parents and children about the benefits of protecting children from all forms of violence and abuse.

When asked what he wants to become when he grows up, Augustine says he wants to become a broadcaster: “I want to use my voice to help children.”

Read more about Plan's work in Liberia