The youth of Malawi are fighting back against child abuse and demanding that their government investigate reports.
Thanks to a team of youngsters in Lilongwe, Malawi, the first child-run and child-focused television programme has been giving voice to the country’s youth.
The programme Timveni, meaning ‘let it be heard’, was first set up as a radio show in 2006 after Plan Sweden and UNICEF provided the project with funding, but has now developed into an independent organisation as a fully-fledged television programme.
The 30 minute programme is aired once a week, giving a platform for girls and boys to express their concerns about their country and the issues that specifically affect them.
For the young people of Malawi, who make up about 54% of the population, the programme not only provides them with hope but also encourages them into education and developing life skills.
Violet Branda, 19, is one of the young journalists working to highlight and challenge the issues of abuse, poverty, child marriage, and tackle illnesses such as HIV that she herself was born with.
Committed to making their voices heard, she has so far caused the Malawi government to investigate and respond to many of the crimes that Timveni journalists have exposed.
“The television licence which has been granted will help children and youth in Malawi to fully participate and express themselves freely in developmental matters,” said Timveni’s executive director, Manyanda Nyasulu.
Adding: “Timveni will [be] able to reach out to more children and youth in Malawi, promoting their rights, talents, life skills and education. The station will continue involving vulnerable children, particularly girls, including the disabled with the aim of promoting their skills and talents.”