Somali Youth Speak Out on New VOA Show

Close up of control board and papers for new Somali show on VOAWASHINGTON, D.C. -Young people across Somalia can now discuss issues that matter the most to them on an interactive VOA radio program that focuses exclusively on youth-related subjects and ways to empower one of the largest segments of the Somali population.It’s Your Call, an hour-long VOA Somali Service program, tackles the topics that young people want to talk about, including jobs, education, and drug abuse.

“This is the only show of its kind in Somalia,” says Somali Service Chief Abdirahman Yabarow, “and it’s important that we offer this platform to young people, who now make up about 70% of Somalia’s population.”

The weekly show provides in-depth reports from the region and then opens up discussion with expert in-studio guests and direct calls from the audience.  Questions can be submitted on the show’s Facebook page and the call-in feature lets the host answer questions live on air.

The program is also sending out special SMS messages related to topics that have been broadcast on the show, and VOA Somali Service journalists plan to host a series of town hall style meetings in the region to bring young people together to talk about their concerns.

VOA’s Somali Service reaches audiences in the region on AM, FM, shortwave, the Internet and on mobile devices. Recent audience surveys indicate more than 74% of the population in Mogadishu listens to VOA each week.

For more information about this release, contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write kking@voanews.com. For more information about VOA, visit the Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main news site at www.voanews.com.

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