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UNICEF talks media and communications with partners

UNICEF is hold training sessions with several of its partners on the media.  Susan Kasedde, Country Representative for UNICEF in Belize says that the sessions are part of an ongoing series of support offered by the organization to strengthen the effectiveness of its programs in Belize as it pertains to children and children’s rights.

Susan Kasedde – Unicef Country Representative: “We recognize that communication is an essential part of our work. If we are able to have clear messages about the changes that we would like to see or the changes we would like to acknowledge then we can mobilize more effectively changes at the community level, changes in policy, changes in the way that the programs are delivered so that they are better served so that we all better serve children so today’s communication training is focused on engaging with the media and it is aimed at technical specialists. The purpose is to get technical specialists to have a better understanding about how to be more impactful as communicators, how to craft messages so that their results are better achieved because they are supported by clear, factual and effective messaging.”

Representatives from different government departments like Health, Education, Youth Services, Human Development and even the Police Department took part in today’s sessions.  Kasedde says these are partners that work closely with UNICEF in improving the lives of children in Belize.

Susan Kasedde – Unicef Country Representative: “Every single one of these sectors has the obligation to reach out to communities, to facilitate changes for children either through engaging with parents, the community at large or dealing with children as well but each of them also have the responsibility of speaking on behalf of children through the media and so need to be more effective in doing that. Each of them also have the opportunity many times to speak with children and on the basis of that interaction to inform the way that they communicate stories, the way that they communicate key messages through the media. This training is aiming at improving our effectiveness as communicators with also our understanding about our duties and obligations for the protection of children even as we communicate because in our effort to achieve changes supported through communication we each have a duty to make sure that the way that we interact with children, the way that we represent their stories and their identities through the media does not cause harm to children and so this is an important training to raise the quality of engagement as well as interaction with children for purposes of protection as well as improving the overall quality of our communication capacity and engagement with the media.”

During the sessions, UNICEF also provided training for technical specialists on how to prepare for and deliver a good interview. UNICEF will be holding training with media personnel later this week.