RADIO & MOBILE : LISTENING AND CONNECTING CHILDREN TO NATURE
By Naledi Moleo
As a South African radio journalist I understand personally the power radio has in Africa. Radio and mobile phones are the most widely used forms of media and information technology in Africa and other developing countries in the world. They are simple, relatively low-tech instruments that enable massive connectivity in society. The Earth Junkies Foundation and the Arkwork Collective recognize and value the role radio and cellular connectivity plays in helping connect children in a global conversation. Radio is the most conducive technology for enabling and building children’s imaginative capacities, as it focuses children on their listening senses, enabling them to make pictures and images in their minds. Empathy emerges in this same space, as empathy is the process of thinking about and really trying to understand the experiences of another, whether it is another person, a plant or an animal. Empathy development has been highlighted by the Earth Junkies environmental education researchers as a vital capacity in developing meaningful forms of action among children.
The IMAGINATION ADVENTURE develops podcasts and radio content that is contributed to by children along the journey and shared through wide online networks to radio stations all across the world. I will be traveling along on the journey, creating live weekly feeds for radio stations in which children can phone in and have live conversations via satellite. There is an interconnected relationship between radio and mobile phones, as many people interact with radio programming through sending text messages, calling in or connecting to radio websites to share their views. This dynamic exchange platform is the ideal medium to build a creative, imaginative, empathetic and open conversation between children. While we provide material for radio stations to broadcast stories from the overland IMAGINATION ADVENTURE, elsewhere children not on the journey, in other countries, can also share their contributions, thoughts, questions via this platform. In addition to this, the Earth Junkies Foundation offers invitations to participate in specific actions and methods, that encourage children to discover their senses, their imaginations and their own personal encounters with nature and each other, therefore contributing to the growing global children’s conversation regarding the rights of nature.