After suffering hunger and abuse as a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 12-year-old Bahati Kizungu believed joining the Army—and later, a militia group—was his only way to escape hardship.
While in the militia, he listened to a children’s rights radio program—“Sisi Watoto,” or “We the Children”— and learned about an organization that helped children safely reintegrate into society. At 15, he escaped the militia group, sought refuge in the demobilization center, and got an education.
“In the radio shows, they used to say that a child’s better life was in books instead of a gun, and a pen instead of a bullet,” Kizungu says.
Search for Common Ground soon recruited Kizungu to be a radio reporter for “Sisi Watoto.” Now 17, Kizungu interviews children across the DRC and reports on children’s rights issues, hoping to empower other children and reduce the abuse inflicted by adults.