A blog article is a powerful weapon: Po na Bana

PARTICIPATION – This century, one thing is certain: social networks, blogs, in fact all online expression has become an undeniably valuable way of sharing, expressing oneself and communicating.

Po na Bana : let’s give them a voice!

Po na Bana is a platform which gives children of the DRC the opportunity to raise their voices, say what they think about their lives or children’s lives in their communities. This blog is – in my opinion – a real revolution in terms of child participation in the matters that concern them in our country. Beyond child participation, Ponabana also gives young people and adults who are engaged in promoting and protecting children’s rights, the opportunity to share their experiences.  After being a Child Reporter and blogger, I have now become one of those young people.

La participation pour et par les enfants

Today I am proud to say, without any fear, « Becoming a Child Reporter was a great way to defend children’s rights, and blogging on ponabana is one of the best things I could have done as my youth ».

By 2012, I had already become a member of the Ituri Children’s Listening Club (a children’s programme focussing on social mobility and awareness raising about children’s rights). I strongly engaged in promoting children’s rights, and assumed the role of spokesperson before becoming a coordinator. I learnt a lot.

Inform and educate

Yesterday a Child Reporter from Ituri, today a Young Reporter for my province! This is in no way the extent of my goals, that include, amongst others, continuing to defend children’s rights.

Nothing will be the same as before. I feel completely different, I am a different person. For one simple reason: through my blogs, I feel that I am contributing to changing the world for the better, for every child.

Undeniably, awareness-raising sessions and advocacy toward local decision-makers have a positive impact on children’s rights. Nevertheless, a powerful weapon exists, which can cross thousands of kilometers, continents and oceans. Well! It’s no atomic weapon. Put simply, it’s a blopost.

Hundreds of people, even thousands, can read, hear and share your experience and, even more, make a commitment. If not straight away, then in the future. It’s the particular nature of a blog, especially if it is shared widely via social networks. This really makes me want to write, I always blog.

A world fit #ForEveryChild

Willing to put into practice the concepts I learnt as a Child Reporter, and to make the world aware of the situation of children in Ituri, were of equal importance in motivating me to start writing blogposts. It was not easy in the beginning. Each post took hours of work. They say that perfection comes from practice. After writing a few blogs, everything has started making sense.

Another interesting thing is that you can become an influential blogger, or not.  The main thing is to get your message to the authorities and to the world, in the hope of being heard.

Nothing comes from undervaluing yourself, from hiding your talents. I know that you children and young people are passionate about writing. Show us. Talk to us about the daily life of children in your community.  Go for it!  You can.

I am proud of being a young person who contributes to my community by blogging. One of the consequences is that I am now a journalist for a local radio, and I am dreaming big !

Through simply writing, we can make the world better for every child.

David’s blog articles on Po na Bana

Translated from French by Julia Bayton

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David

David a rejoint le Club d'Ecoute pour Enfants en 2012. Deux ans après, il en est devenu le porte-parole puis en 2015, le coordonnateur. La même année, David est devenu Enfant Reporter. Il présente également diverses émissions sur les droits de l'Enfant. "Parler des droits de l'Enfant via les médias, c'est ma préférence". David étudie le droit à Bunia et rêve de travailler à la défense des droits des plus vulnérables.

David joined the Children's Listening Club in 2012. Two years later, David became the spokesperson and in 2015 the coordinator. That same year, David became a child reporter. Since 2014, David has hosted various programmes on child rights.  "I want to use the media to talk about child rights”. David studies law in Bunia and dreams of working to protect the rights of the most vulnerable. He says he will always work for children.

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