|Restless Development staff and volunteers with the Smart FM team.|
Every year Restless Development Uganda’s programmes reach over 15,000 young people from the Busoga and Karamoja sub-regions. While significant, this is a fraction of the total youth population in Uganda; where 78% are aged less than 30 years old.
As of March 2012, that has all changed! Very excitingly, a new partnership between Restless Development and Smart FM, a Jinja-based radio station affiliated to NBS, has increased our reach to 3 million ears … or more specifically, 3 million listeners from across 11 Districts! The partnership supports the goals of both organisations to provide comprehensive information to Uganda’s youth on the issues that concern them while also creating opportunities for young people to speak out.
The focus of the partnership is, YOUTH TALK, a programme that airs every Saturday from 6-7pm. It is entirely led by and for young people, offering them a platform to openly discuss and debate key issues affecting their lives. Restless Development is supporting Smart FM to strengthen YOUTH TALK by: 1) collecting youth input to inform and add value to the weekly shows, 2) providing guidance on the content and key messages for each show, including through having young staff as guest speakers, and 3) increasing listenership by promoting the show in communities where Restless Development works.
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT beinga major concern in Uganda, it was selected as our first monthly theme. Discussions centred on the causes of youth unemployment and how it can be addressed by youth, communities, government and others. There was also good discussion on the government‘s new youth fund that has been making headlines recently. Restless Development Programme Officer, Joseph Mabonga, joined the show to share his knowledge and experience on the topic.
Restless Development is grateful to Smart FM, and their team of enthusiastic and passionate staff. We see this partnership as a great opportunity for both organisations to support young people to access information and debate key issues. We also hope that the show will encourage other media houses to support youth-led programming, whether in partnership with Restless Development, Smart FM, or of their own accord!