Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) has joined forces with Radio Workshop, school learners from Mtubatuba and Durban, and local community radio stations to launch an innovative project aimed at enhancing science literacy and engagement with health research.

The initiative involves the co-creation of youth-led radio shows in collaboration with Rise FM in Mtubatuba and Durban Youth Radio, and trains young people in storytelling and reporting skills.

The project aims to leverage the unique media characteristics of community radio stations, which are deeply embedded in their communities.

Over the past few months, 35 youth reporters aged between 13 and 17 have participated in training sessions facilitated by Radio Workshop. These sessions equipped them with skills such as how to conduct interviews, reporting, editing, recording, and broadcasting.

The radio shows are produced and hosted by the learners themselves, and feature content based on research done at AHRI. The young reporters interview scientists, nurses, peer navigators, and residents to delve deeper into various health issues. This engagement allows them to gain a better understanding of disease burdens in their communities and the significance of ongoing research efforts.

(Above photo: Kwanele Mdletshe (Mehlokubheka High School) on-air at Rise FM in Mtubatuba)

Their first show was aired on April 22 via Rise FM in Mtubatuba, and recordings are available on Spotify. In Durban, the learners have been recording weekly broadcasts, which will be aired on Durban Youth Radio from June.

The series will continue airing every Saturday until September 2023. Listeners can tune in to Rise FM from 10am and Durban Youth Radio from 11am to catch these informative and engaging shows.

This collaborative effort between AHRI, local radio stations, and learners promises to foster a greater understanding of health issues and the research efforts to address them, while inspiring the next generation to consider a career in science.

Top photo: (l-r) Samkelo Nkala (Makhumbuza High School); Kimberley Smith (Mentor – Durban Youth Radio) and Lwazi Gcabashe (Makhumbuza High School) interview AHRI postdoc Dr Afrah Khairallah in Durban)