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Digital Diary: Kerrel McKay interviews other AIDS Activists in Toronto

From: UNICEF
Length: 06:39

This story is free! UNICEF Youth Reporter Kerrel McKay interviews other youth AIDS activists at the Toronto AIDS Conference

Kerrilpic_small In her latest Digital Diary, UNICEF Radio Youth Reporter and Jamaican AIDS activist Kerrel McKay interviews other young leaders she met at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Over 1,000 youth activists attended the global meeting, which took place in August in Toronto, Canada. In her radio diary, Kerrel, 20, travels around the youth pavilion where activists have gathered, interviewing young people from all walks of life and the four corners of the globe. Children on the street ?Here?s a very inspiring young man,? she says, as she prepares to interview Desmond, 24, of Innercity, a drop-in centre for youth in Toronto. Desmond lived on the streets as a teenager and is now a peer educator for Innercity, where he got help when he was in need. For young people living on the street, it?s easy to become vulnerable to HIV infection, Desmond says. ?The largest problem is lack of self-esteem,? he notes. ?It?s hard to feel a sense of self-worth if you can?t take care of yourself.? Desmond tells Kerrel he believes this low sense of self contributes to the rising rate of infection among young people. ?Today, half of all new HIV infections are among youth,? he says. ?This is a problem for the next generation.? ?Young people hold the key? Kerrel goes on to interview Henry, a young man from Uganda who agrees that only young people will be able to turn the AIDS pandemic around. ?Young people must join the fight against AIDS,? says Henry. ?It?s a long fight, it?s not an easy fight, but young people hold the key.? Kerrel and other young people who attended the Toronto AIDS meeting look forward to 2008, when the biennial conference will be held in Mexico. They hope to have an even more prominent role in the proceedings there. Kerrel?s story Kerrel?s efforts on HIV/AIDS prevention ? and her Digital Diary ? are informed by her own direct experience with the disease. She was 10 years old when her father was diagnosed with AIDS. Her parents were separated, and at age 14 she had to take on the burden of caretaking. When her father later died, Kerrel?s initial feelings of despair were soon converted into an energetic vision. ?I realized I could educate young people,? she says. ?I could use my story to help people understand we are all affected by this disease.? In 2000, she started the Portland Parish Youth Committee, an arm of the UNICEF-supported Portland AIDS Committee. Since then, Kerrel has branched out from her activist work to a job with a Ministry of Health outreach programme in Kingston, Jamaica?s capital. She spends nights counselling youths in clubs and on the streets. For several months now, Kerrel has been using a mini-disc recorder and microphone to record some of her thoughts and conversations for UNICEF Radio. Her entries are featured in the UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth Digital Diaries Project, which allows young people with compelling stories to represent their own experience and produce their own radio diaries.

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Piece Description

In her latest Digital Diary, UNICEF Radio Youth Reporter and Jamaican AIDS activist Kerrel McKay interviews other young leaders she met at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Over 1,000 youth activists attended the global meeting, which took place in August in Toronto, Canada. In her radio diary, Kerrel, 20, travels around the youth pavilion where activists have gathered, interviewing young people from all walks of life and the four corners of the globe. Children on the street ?Here?s a very inspiring young man,? she says, as she prepares to interview Desmond, 24, of Innercity, a drop-in centre for youth in Toronto. Desmond lived on the streets as a teenager and is now a peer educator for Innercity, where he got help when he was in need. For young people living on the street, it?s easy to become vulnerable to HIV infection, Desmond says. ?The largest problem is lack of self-esteem,? he notes. ?It?s hard to feel a sense of self-worth if you can?t take care of yourself.? Desmond tells Kerrel he believes this low sense of self contributes to the rising rate of infection among young people. ?Today, half of all new HIV infections are among youth,? he says. ?This is a problem for the next generation.? ?Young people hold the key? Kerrel goes on to interview Henry, a young man from Uganda who agrees that only young people will be able to turn the AIDS pandemic around. ?Young people must join the fight against AIDS,? says Henry. ?It?s a long fight, it?s not an easy fight, but young people hold the key.? Kerrel and other young people who attended the Toronto AIDS meeting look forward to 2008, when the biennial conference will be held in Mexico. They hope to have an even more prominent role in the proceedings there. Kerrel?s story Kerrel?s efforts on HIV/AIDS prevention ? and her Digital Diary ? are informed by her own direct experience with the disease. She was 10 years old when her father was diagnosed with AIDS. Her parents were separated, and at age 14 she had to take on the burden of caretaking. When her father later died, Kerrel?s initial feelings of despair were soon converted into an energetic vision. ?I realized I could educate young people,? she says. ?I could use my story to help people understand we are all affected by this disease.? In 2000, she started the Portland Parish Youth Committee, an arm of the UNICEF-supported Portland AIDS Committee. Since then, Kerrel has branched out from her activist work to a job with a Ministry of Health outreach programme in Kingston, Jamaica?s capital. She spends nights counselling youths in clubs and on the streets. For several months now, Kerrel has been using a mini-disc recorder and microphone to record some of her thoughts and conversations for UNICEF Radio. Her entries are featured in the UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth Digital Diaries Project, which allows young people with compelling stories to represent their own experience and produce their own radio diaries.

2 Comments Atom Feed

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Review of Digital Diary: Kerrel McKay interviews other AIDS Activists in Toronto

Kerrel reports from the 16th International AIDS Conference bringing up the interesting and pertinent topic of youth dealing with HIV and. She asks questions that arouse great response from her subjects about their views on how youth are dealing with AIDS, and the sound quality of this piece is incredible. Kerrel has awesome interviewing technique - and we gain great perspective with the information that is received from listening to this piece. A little more narration could be used for extra background on the topic and her interviewees, as some of their responses seem to come out of nowhere, and in some
places the listener has a hard time connecting them together. Kerrel?s ending narration in extremely powerful and positive as she concludes what steps the youth of the world must take in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

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Review of Digital Diary: Kerrel McKay interviews other AIDS Activists in Toronto

I'm glad you covered this event, because I don't think it was highly publicized. This was good investigative journalism! Eliminating HIV and AIDS starts with youth, so it was great that you had hard-hitting questions about their involvement and talked to the youth themselves. What makes it so powerful is what I see as almost the centerpiece of your story: the interview with Desmond. I think that you needed to introduce him and relate his connection to youth earlier on--he seems to pop up out of nowhere! But, all in all I enjoyed listening to your radio journal, and I can't wait until the next one!

Broadcast History

This story has never been broadcast. Its available as of today as a free download on UNICEF's website, but its otherwise brand new!

Timing and Cues

there are two versions of this story, one with UNICEF Radio intro/outro and one without the UNICEF Radio outro

With UNICEF outro: 6:38
Without UNICEF outro: 6:06

Related Website

www.unicef.org