Kasulu, Tanzania, March 22, 2006 – Hundreds of young refugees participated in a VOA listener contest designed to increase awareness of a unique radio program that focuses on young people, their aspirations and their challenges.
The 30-minute weekly program, Ejo Bite? (What About the Future?), is broadcast throughout Burundi, Rwanda and parts of Tanzania where refugee camps are located.
Young refugees – and repatriated refugees – report and produce the show, which covers health, education, social and political issues. The program, broadcast from the VOA studios in Washington, is in the Kirundi and Kinyarwanda languages.
The contest, held at Mtabila and Muyovozi refugee camps on two days in March, attracted hundreds of young people who answered questions on the latest news topics covered by Ejo Bite?.
Winners were given VOA tee-shirts, bags and caps. Additionally, VOA distributed wind-up radios at youth centers where listening clubs have been formed.
Jacqueline Segahungu, Ejo Bite?'s coordinator in Bujumbura, said camp officials told her the contest was “the first time such a big activity was organized for young people at the camp.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps outside Kasulu are home to more than 140,000 people, many of them under 21 years. Burundian refugees, primarily, live in the camps. The International Rescue Committee (www.theirc.org) runs the camps.
Ejo Bite?, now in its fourth year, is funded by a grant from the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. It can be heard on FM, shortwave and on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/CentralAfrica.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.