We started producing this programme for the youth in cognisant of the fact that media messages are commonly discussed by individuals in the course of reception and subsequently, they are transformed through an ongoing process of telling and retelling, interpretation and re-interpretation, commentary, laughter, criticism and by maintaining messages and routinely incorporating them into their lives. In the process, we are constantly contributing in shapping and reshaping their skills and stock of knowledge, testing their feelings and tastes, and expanding the horizons of our experience. Such programmes assist in correcting distortions of ideology by bringing to the fore true perspectives on pertinent issues of youth upbringing, such as premarital sex, HIV/AIDS epidemic, youth organisations etc.
Situational Analysis of Youth in Tanzania
1. Economic Situation
In general, the youth in Tanzania engage in the following economic activities.
Production activities in the sectors of agriculture, fishing, mining, animal husbandry and small scale industries, especially in carpentry, tailoring and black smithery.
Petty business like selling second-hand clothes (e.g. Manzese, Tandika, Congo Street at Kariako, Buguruni etc in Dar es Salaam), fruits and various foodstuffs. Major problems in these self employed activities include lack of capital, appropriate equipment and technical knowhow and/or requisite skills.
A small number of youths (about 3.4%) are employed in the civil service, in parastatal organisations and in the private sector. This group is but only a fraction of the total number of educated and trained youth in various disciplines. However, in the implementation of economic reforms many educated youths have been retrenched from work, so that many of these youths do not expect to be employed in the formal sector. The problem of unemployment affects both boys and girls. However, the later are affected most and they end up being engaged in non-professional and low income earning activities.
Among the unemployed people in the country 60% are youths. The consequences of this problem are that the youth engage in criminal behaviour like steeling, armed robbery, drug abuse, STDs, prostitution and unsafe sex etc. Moreover, many youths especially in Dar es Salaam and other urban centres have continued to be dependent on their parents.
2. The Political Situation
Until recently, mid-90s, Tanzania has been under a single party political system. Nonetheless, the situation of the youth has not changed much, even with the advent of the multiparty system. Except for accommodating the multiparty system, the constitution has largely remained the same for many years. According to the constitution every youth who has reached the age of 18 years irrespective of sex has the right to participate in political matters including the right to vote and to contest for leadership at certain levels.
3. The Social Situation
Due to weaknesses in the African culture, and the subsequent changes in life styles in our communities, accompanied by economic hardships, the once established system of responsible parenthood in the communities has disintegrated. As a result, child and youth upbringing has been left in the hands of teachers and institutions dealing with youth and mass-media. At household level, this task has been left in the hands of women who most often lack the time for responsible parenting. Conflicts among spouses and broken marriages have adversely affected youth upbringing. As a result, youths engage themselves in promiscuity, some run away from homes, some young girls get early pregnancies and face the risks of abortion and delivery complications due to tender age.
Education and Training
The majority of youths in Tanzania have only completed primary education. Problems arising from poor education affect the youths in the following ways:
Those who complete primary education are too young to be self-dependent and also lack skills for self-employment.
Girls envolvement percentages drop as the grades rise. This trend affects their career development and promotions for leadership.
Poor education environment leads to truancy, e.g. lack of school uniforms, inadequate food in schools, lack of equipment and facilities like desks, overcrowded classrooms.
Rights of the Youth
Along with many other rights of the youth, the right to live anywhere, taken as an example, does not seem to be not well understood by the youth. Due to the manifestation of youth unemployment, quite often the youth cross borders without appropriate immigration documents and others stow-away in cargo ships, risking death in high seas when discovered and other associated risks. All in all, the youth in Tanzania are not sufficiently sensitized on their rights.
The Commonwealth Youth Charter of 1996 CCYC, states that "Many ways the future of each country and the Commonwealth rests with young women and men and their vision, commitments, enthusiasm, skills and ability to manage change and grasp opportunities to fulfil their potential." Radio Tumaini wishes to pitch up this call and disseminate it as widely as possible to the youth of Tanzania through our radio programme. We believe such programmes will enhance awareness among the youth in taking this challenge of the Commonwealth Youth Charter.
As has been stated in the situational analysis of the Tanzanian youth, efforts to improve their economic welfare are frustrated by lack of sufficient capital, requisite tools/equipment and appropriate skills and knowledge. With the objective of addressing this problem there will be need to assist these youth, through appropriate advice by exports in the relevant fields. For such advice to reach out to as many youths as possible, some form of transmission mechanism will be required. Radio broadcasts would certainly do well in this respect.
Among the youth, there are distinctively disadvantaged groups, in particular girls. Such groups may need special programmes to address their specific type of issues. In this respect, gender experts and other professionals in pertinent fields will be sought to prepare special programmes for girls. Talk shows may also be explored resources permitting.
Our radio will provide opportunities to the youth to share and discuss with others their perspectives on various issues that are important to the development of our nation. Thus, through such media the voice of the youth will be heard and invariably subsequently contribute to the development process of our country, in which all sections of society are expected to participate respectively.
There will be situations when the youth here to be addressed or reminded on various pertinent national agenda. Thus, special programmes on subjects like the transmission of STDs, HIV/AIDS, unemployment, social values etc. will aim at teaching and sensitizing the youth of Tanzania appropriately.
Objectives of the Youth Programme
The Youth Programmes in Radio Tumaini will have the following objectives:-
To provide guidance to young people and send clear messages on expected standards of behaviour, the importance of conformity and the consequences of not comforting.
To establish guidelines and rules directly or indirectly on youth's behaviour.
To cooperate with authorities of youth centres in Dar es Salaam and up-country regions in developing youth programmes and availing them free access to our radio in giving important announcements to the youth.
To provide safety act to the young people for renting out their inner-most feelings and hence contribute in stabilising their confidence in the society they live.
To conduct "live" programmes i.e. through monitored telephones so that even distant listeners are able to participate in the discussions being aired by our radio.
To invite external social and youth workers to conduct live radio programmes.
To provide guidance and advice on welfare rights and support, legal aid, act as advocates of young people and promote support on issues such as employment, education, training, housing etc.
To mobilize the youth and the community at large to appreciate, promote and defend the rights of the youth in accordance with the youth policy in the country.
To mobilise support from various institutions and organisations in fighting the development and/or control of the negative effects or influences accruing from economic, social, political and cultural processes.
To promote youth programmes that contribute to national development initiatives.
Currently Youth Programs:-
Currently there are three youth programmes:-
a) Kijana Leo na Kesho is a 30 minutes programme which is aired every Saturday at 6.30 p.m. The programme focuses on current youth issues, e.g. youth health, STDs, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, youth unemployment, prostitution etc.
b) Vijana YCS focuses on the Christian youth society. It thus presents the Christian perspective on the activities of youth societies.
c) Youth Alive is a much wider programme than Vijana YCS in terms of coverage of youth issues, in that it goes beyond youth organisations or societies.
These programmes need to be improved and expanded as presented in the Action Plan below:
There Action Plan and Resource Requirements
Radio Tumaini has professionals in journalism, social and youth work, including both employees and volunteers, who constitute the centre pole for the youth programmes. Making use of the current work force, we wish to improve and expand existing youth programmes. We wish to start with conducting youth seminars and airing them "live" We also wish to open the doors to the youth out of the city so that they can visit our studios for interviews and documentaries. Running such programmes will make sure that even the youth residing out of Dar es Salaam have access to our services, thereby reaching out to their fellow youth in the whole country.
Such programmes will need additional resources in terms of renting halls for seminars and workshops, transport, and other preparation costs. Our Radio is a non-profit institution, and hence its resource base is so limited to the extent that, at times, we are unable to prepare and conduct some programmes which, though desirable, the cost is prohibitive.
Besides conducting seminars and workshops we intend to add more air time for some programmes, as well as do more research on youth issues. There are also plans for visiting youths in remote areas, visiting youth centres, conducting live youth programmes, and preparing scripts and recorded audio programmes that can be aired by other Radio Stations an agreement to ensure that as many youths possible are reached.
Resources permitting, we may wish sometime in future to explore the possibility of linking up to the internet as well, in the hope of taking advantage of the advances of digital technology.
Programmes on Radio Tumaini are normally planned annually, except for special occasional programmes which may call for adjusting the programme planes as necessary. The radio is on air 24 hrs daily throughout the year, save for seldom technical problems.
Evaluation of Radio Tumaini programmes is an open exercise, involving all staff members and a cross-section of listeners. Such evaluation involving outsiders is undertaken once annually. This provides an opportunity for outsiders (listeners) to give opinions advice and suggestions on how best to run our programmes. Nonetheless, besides this formal arrangement, throughout the y ear, the radio receives opinion and suggestion from listeners which are sited upon accordingly by our staff. Internal evaluations are also undertaken weekly and monthly. So that throughout the year, our programmes are subjected to evaluation of one form or the other.