CAMBODIA TV PROGRAM STIMULATES YOUTH CIVICS
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Good Day to fellow global citizens!
Cambodia’s civic life has all but been stifled during the time of the Khmer Rogue. While that dark past is way behind the nation now, the culture of silence remains and is taking a hard time to break.
The creation of a vibrant, dynamic, robust civil society in Cambodia, parallel to the Philippines’ which is among the world’s strongest civil societies, seems to be years ahead yet before full galvanization. However, the seed of that civic culture is now being planted, or should be germinated at this time.
It is most appropriate a strategy to waken up the youth from lethargy, for the youth produces leaders for all other sectors of society. The preparations in Cambodia includes a tv program that hopefully can catalyze youth mobilization for the debates and participation in the forthcoming election.
Below is an update report coming from the United Nations Development Programme about the said tv program.
[Philippines, 13 September 2011]
Cambodia: TV production to boost youth civic participation
12 August 2011
Phnom Penh – As the world celebrates International Youth Day on 12 August, Cambodians are producing a mass media campaign to empower young adults aged 15-24 and encourage them to get involved in community-level volunteerism and decision-making.
The campaign – to include a TV drama and discussion show, radio call-in programmes, public service announcements, and online and mobile phone messaging – will start in January 2012 and target five million youth, including three million of voting age, ahead of local elections next year and a national election in 2013.
“This campaign will feature young people making a difference in their communities and will help other youngsters realize their own potential,” said Gregory Lavender, Youth Advocacy Officer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia.
“Youth are the key to strengthening democracy in Cambodia because two out of every three people in the country are under 25 years old.”
A small team of writers and researchers are scripting 32 TV drama episodes intended to increase basic civic awareness, promote participation in political and local decision-making processes and hold their elected leaders accountable.
Broadcasts, including by radio, will give young people information to take part in planning meetings at local commune councils and to become positive examples of citizens taking actions for wider public benefit.
In partnership with the BBC World Service Trust, UNDP is providing funding and coordinating the three-year campaign with government and non-governmental organizations that will also take part in outreach activities.
“Young people are gifted with open minds and a keen awareness of emerging trends, and are bringing their energy, ideas and courage to some of the most complex and important challenges facing the human family,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message for International Youth Day.
International Youth Day was created by the UN in 1999 as an opportunity to draw attention to the needs of young men and women worldwide.
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