Eleven-year-old Matilda is one of the four SOS children from SOS Children's Village Freetown that take part in the 'Kiddies Club', a programme broadcasted on SKKY radio 106.6 FM, to talk about issues affecting children. Child's rights and responsibilities, child trafficking, child labour and children's code of dressing are among some of the topics raised in this show. And as far as Matilda is concerned, child labour is the topic she prefers to talk about!
"Child labour is a very interesting and important topic for me. First, let me tell you what child labour is. Child labour is when some adults ask children who have not reached the age to do some difficult work, depriving them from going to school. For examples, some parents, instead of sending their child to school, send him or her to work in factories under difficult conditions. Some parents ask their children to go all day to sell iced water in the street or sell for them in the markets. All this is wrong and violates the rights of a child.
I know that in most part of Africa and in my country, Sierra Leone, in particular, poverty is the cause of all these violation of child's rights. But we should not take poverty as an excuse. I would also like to tell you about something that is common in some parts of Sierra Leone. It is usual that some adults leaving the provinces to go to Freetown, request from other family members to take away one of their child down to Freetown, telling them they want to care of him or her and send him or her to school. But when they are brought down to Freetown, these children are often used as domestics and asked to perform all sorts of work, while the other children of the family would be going to school.
Participating in Kiddie's Club on the radio has made me develop an interest for a future career in radio journalism. Another good thing about being a child broadcaster is that I have made a lot of friends with the other children who join us in the studio. It has also made outspoken. In SOS Children's Village Freetown, my regular participation in the radio programme has made some of the older children wanting to join me, but it is not possible for all of us to go to the radio station! I just love this radio programme!"