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United Nation General Assembly President Engages With Students on UN Radio Miraya on Day of the African Child in South Sudan

Published by APO Africa Newsroom on Mon, 17 Jun 2024

Download logoIts not the first time Esther Keji has made an appearance on Radio Miraya. The young South Sudanese student has made several appearances on Radio Miraya, operated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, sharing her opinions on the experiences of young people in this troubled country as well as messages of peace.Today, she had a new experience: interviewing the leader of the powerful United Nations General Assembly, which includes all 193 Member States.We, as the children of South Sudan, are facing huge challenges, particularly being able to go to school and then university. How important do you think education is for children and what can the UN do to help ensure we have access' said Esther.President Francis commended her on the question and responded. Education is the key that unlocks everything. With education you can be whatever you choose to be. There is a problem in South Sudan as there is a shortage of schools and teachers. But I want to encourage you as young people. Do your homework and study hard because education is the ultimate equalizer, he said.South Sudan has one of the worlds youngest and most vibrant populations. But, today, 70 percent of the children are not in school. Thats 2.8 million children who are missing out on their right to education for many reasons, including conflict, the climate crisis, displacement, poverty, early marriage, recruitment into armed forces and groups, and cultural and religious discrimination.This situation affects their right to development, excludes them from future work opportunities, and exposes them to further violence, abuse and exploitation.It puts at risk not only their future, but also the future of the country, said President Francis. The children of today are the leaders of the future, so it is time to act collectively to ensure all children get the education they deserve and the chance to reach their full potential in life.Radio Miraya is about to celebrate its 18thanniversary. The UN-operated network which has the largest listenership in the country is an important tool for reaching South Sudanese, particularly those in remote conflict-affected areas, with news of importance about the security and political situation as well as supporting reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts.What we tend to do and what we've been doing is like handing over, I mean, the children taking over the radio waves - and throughout the day, literally Radio Miraya becomes the children's radio station, children of South Sudan. This year, we were graced, and we were extremely lucky to have with us at the very President of the United Nations General Assembly, said Ratomir Petrovic, the Chief of Radio Miraya.President Francis toured the studio and spent time engaging with the young people running the show for the day, which they deeply appreciated.I would like to congratulate the radio station on its 18 years of operation and wish it all the best for the next 18 years of operation. Its nationwide coverage is a good thing because people need to know what is going on across the Republic of South Sudan. They need to be informed. This is how communities are built by bringing information to the people that they need to know to understand exactly what's taking place on the ground, said President Francis, appreciating the station.In turn, the President left with an experience he will never forget, inspired by the resilience, determination, and passion for peace demonstrated by the children of South Sudan as they relentlessly seek the opportunities they need and deserve to reach their full potential in life.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
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