Youth on the beat

Sponsored youth deserve to have their voices heard. Our newest youth initiative empowers youth while developing writing, interviewing, photography and video production skills.

In 2014, Children International launched an exciting new initiative we call the Youth Reporters program. Piloted in three agencies, including Quito, Ecuador, the initiative empowers youth by letting their own voices and interests be heard.

Our agency in Lusaka, Zambia, is another place where we hired a part-time professional to train interested youth in journalism skills, including photography, videography, and writing and interviewing – as well as safe Internet navigation.

CI’s youth reporters cover events and issues that they find interesting and important. Here, a CI community center in the Philippines offers activities that help children psychologically recover from losing their homes in a massive fire that swept through their neighborhood.

Another recent event youth reporters were excited to cover for their peers was a visit to Quezon City by CI President Susana Eshleman (left) and other members of our executive staff.

With some supervision, youth reporters share their stories with other sponsored peers through social media outlets.

In Lusaka, Zambia, youth reporters covered a powerful story about the lack of garbage removal in the poorest communities and the health dangers posed by such unsanitary conditions.

Rosa says: “My photo is inspired by the innocence of a small girl from the neighborhood who is making the most of her childhood by running energetically and bringing joy to the sidewalks of her community.”

15-year-old David says of his favorite photo: “This image shows the work carried out by the tireless fighters who go out every morning with a smile on their face to earn a living ... for their families.”

In addition to giving youth the opportunity to develop potential job skills and a true sense of empowerment, we are excited about the potential of this program to bring kids and sponsors closer together! We hope to soon begin sharing more of their amazing photos, videos and stories with you.

See some of our youth reporters' work in this photoblog!