- Health

UNICEF provides Lao media with IT equipment to strengthen youth media group activities during COVID-19

UNICEF today handed over IT equipment to the Lao National Radio (LNR) under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) to help facilitate the activities of youth media groups in the country, including youth radio productions, trainings, promoting awareness on issues concerning children through social media, and to help facilitate online communication between the LNR, UNICEF and provincial youth media teams during COVID-19 outbreak.

The donation of the IT equipment is under the initiative “UNICEF Laos and Italian National Committee Partnership on Radio, Social Media, Youth Voice Skills Building.”

The items handed over include 18 laptops for youth media groups throughout all 18 provinces of the country, a mixer and iMac desktop computer each for LNR and the Lao Youth Radio FM90 of the Lao Youth Union.

“We extend our warmest thanks to UNICEF for this valuable support, which will particularly help facilitate youth media groups’ activities under the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we can continue our work in promoting and reporting on issues concerning Lao children and youth,” said Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Phosy Keomanivong. Additionally, as part of this partnership with the Italian National Committee, 33 sets of loudspeaker systems for rural communities across the country were also officially handed over alongside the aforementioned equipment to help in disseminating information on topics concerning children and women’s well-being such as immunization, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, child protection alongside information on the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall cost of the IT equipment and loudspeakers is more than US$60,000.

To strengthen the capacity of the youth media groups across the country during the COVID-19 outbreak, in early January 2022, the LNR and LYU will organize an online workshop to build the capacity of youth media in radio production and production of social media content on children rights, including nutrition, COVID-19.

“Since 2004, the LNR of MICT has worked together with UNICEF to promote the well-being of all children in the Lao PDR, especially when it comes to youth participation. It is our hope that the latest equipment provided will help empower youth media groups in the country to advocate for the well-being of all Lao children and youth as well as in disseminating accurate information on the COVID-19 pandemic to combat misinformation,” stated UNICEF Representative a.i. to Lao PDR David Duncan.

The LNR and LYU will also implement a mentorship programme in 2022 when the COVID-19 situation allows.

In addition to this, UNICEF also handed over 1,800 boxes of medical face masks to provide to young reporters in each province in the Lao PDR. UNICEF also provided infrared thermometers, hand sanitizer gels to help ensure the safe implementation of youth media activities during the pandemic.

Source: Lao News Agency