Seven thousand four hundred and eight - the number of child abuse related cases filed in Uganda in 2015 alone. This figure represents only those cases that were actually reported to the police. However, others still remain undocumented; most especially when victims get compromised as the perpetuators go unpunished.
But even as tragic stories and heartbreaking statistics on incidences of child abuse continue to dominate various media outlets, the role of the media fraternity in enhancing child protection in Uganda; through production of public service announcements or jingles that popularize the relevance of the Uganda’s child helpline; profiling stories of vulnerable children and conducting radio programs focused on child protection cannot be ignored. It is for this reason that Panos Eastern Africa with a grant support from Oak Foundation set out to collaborate with media houses, government and civil society organizations in raising awareness on issues of child protection in Uganda and Tanzania. Panos has signed memoranda of understanding to partner with media houses that are so passionate about child programming such as Step FM- Eastern Uganda; Mighty Fire FM- Northern Uganda, Baba FM- Eastern Uganda, Radio Pacis-West Nile, Radio Wa- Northern Uganda, Spice FM- South Western Uganda and Voice of Kigezi-South Western Uganda; plus print media- the Observer Media Limited, and broad cast media- Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) a national TV station. In this partnership Panos is ensuring that awareness on child protection information gets into the public domain across the country and in various local languages.
Recently, Panos Eastern Africa was on the road to interact with some of the women and men championing child protection through radio programming as well as the local communities where this project is greatly influencing community participation.
So far, the project has registered tremendous success in terms of engaging local communities in child protection through debates and interviews; providing information on reporting cases of child violence and abuse and prioritizing children’s issues in radio programming.
Kudos: Panos Eastern Africa, Step FM, Mighty Fire FM, Baba FM, Radio Pacis, Radio Wa, Spice FM, the Observer Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and Voice of Kigezi!