The Media and Children’s Rights

Universal Access to Information

Take a moment to reflect on who you were two years ago and who you are right now. Are you the same person? I know I am not! 

The difference between the person you were two years back and who you are at the moment greatly relies on the information and knowledge you have acquired between then and now which has helped you make better and more informed decisions, has presented new opportunities and all this has culminated into you becoming a better person and leading a better life. 

‘When you know better, you do better.’ 

Maya Angelou

In the past one year, there has been an increased number of cases of child abuse, brutality as well as kidnappings. This has left most of us wondering if we at all understand children’s rights and our responsibility to protect and uphold them, and most importantly if children know their rights! Do they even know that they have rights to begin with? 

 ‘You can’t fight for your rights if you do not know what they are.’

John Roberts

Children will not know when their rights are being violated if they do not know what these rights are to begin with. The society, from schools, parents, teachers, law enforcement and media houses have a responsibility to teach children their rights and be their custodian.

Even as media and production houses continue to create children’s content, they now have the great task of making this content accessible to all children regardless of their socioeconomic background. Children who have access to content that is fun and has learning moments (edutainment) are set apart and are a step ahead of those who do not; most of who, come from low income households. 

Akili Network is dedicated to the wellbeing of children by creating conditions that allow them to thrive and reach their full potential. Bridging the socioeconomic gap when it comes to children’s access to information is a key issue at the heart of Akili Network. Having Akili Kids! TV as a free to air channel was the very first initiative in our efforts to make edutainment more accessible. In the one year we have been operational, we have managed to increase these efforts by making our content available on BAZE, a video streaming platform powered by Safaricom where for just ksh.10 a day, children across the country can access content that supplements their education. In addition to this, we have partnered with organizations like Keep Kenya Learning who share in this vision.

Back in July, we had the opportunity to work with the Kenya National Spelling Bee for the 2021 Spelling Bee championships as the official media partner. We saw an opportunity to make valuable learning outcomes from the championships by turning the day’s events into a 4part mini series with learning outcomes such as building confidence, nurturing public speaking skills and improving grammar and vocabulary. Available to Kenyan children, the show can be watched on Akili Kids! TV and Baze, powered by Safaricom. 

Access to information or lack of it, has consequences that impact an individual, and the  effects can be felt by generations to come.

How else can media houses like Akili Network, continue to make children’s content more accessible to kids from all over the country?

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