Mtoto News offers children free Digital Literacy training on advocacy, journalism and online safety

Children practice photography during the 2019 Sauti Zetu training

By Lydia Gichuki

To impact the very necessary digital literacy skills in children, Mtoto News is offering free digital literacy training in a program dubbed Sauti Zetu for children aged between 6-17 years. The five days training will commence on 21st March and end on 25th March 2022.

150 children have so far been trained since its inception in 2019 and 31 others have already registered for the upcoming training. The training which will be both physical and online has drawn children from other countries such as United Kingdom (UK) Rwanda and Tanzania.

Online classes are free while Sh 5000 is charged for the physical classes to cater for lunch and learning materials. These trainings are offered when the school closes for long holidays.

The training aims at empowering the children to have their own voice so as to advocate for issues affecting them whistle preparing them with digital literacy skills that will place them at par with their peers around the world.

In this, they have a competitive edge in jobs and businesses whilst becoming economically empowered individuals in the future.

The training will equip children with skill on advocacy on issues affecting children, journalism, content creation, photography, videography and basic graphic designing. Additionally, they will learn social media skills at the same time learn online safety. To this end, they learn how to identify fake news and how to avoid online child abuse.

Further, children are taught the role they play in their families and the community at large. Additionally, they are trained on child participation where they learn different processes such as budgeting for children and their rights as outlined in the constitution.

Collins Orono,  Mtoto News Head of News and Digital Training says that after the training parents have reported that their children are more assertive and are able to express themselves comprehensively.

‘Parents have told me that their children were able to express themselves confidently after the training and this shows we are doing the right thing,’ he said.

Speaking during Mtoto News anniversary event last month, Sarah Mutisya, parent to Omar Hemed Mutisya, a 2019 Sauti Zetu graduate, said she was marveled to see her child confidently speak in public something that she had not witnessed before the training.

At first I was skeptical about the whole program, but I was amazed to see my once shy child confidently read news and MC. He is now confident and can even now speak in public. I have been advising other parents to allow their kids join the program after seeing the transformation with Omar,’ she said

Speaking during the same event, Brian King a 2021 Sauti Zetu graduate said that he had improved and harnessed his media skills after he was trained in media, interpersonal relationships and public speaking skills.

‘We were trained on media skills, how to relate with others and public speaking skills which has helped me harness my media skills,’ he said

Brian has now hosts several shows for Mtoto News and most notably Playground Chats where he has interviewed political aspirants on the upcoming elections.       

After the training the children are issued with a certificates of completion and follow ups made afterwards for mentorship of the graduates. The content created by the graduates is uploaded on Mtoto News platforms which greatly motivates them.

15 children leaders from Njiru, Starehe and Kibra sub- counties will participate in this training to sharpen their skills on leadership and advocacy.

Registration is ongoing. To register, click on this link; https://cutt.ly/IzNHj24

For more information contact Collins Orono; collins@mtotonews.com

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