An article by Sowetan “One home, school and food garden” (28/10/2010 p. 14) was selected for a GLAD for accessing children, portraying them in a positive light, and challenging stereotypes. The story is about a camp funded by the Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development which aims to teach primary school pupils farming and gardening skills.
Sowetan accessed and named some of the children that attended the camp. In this instance naming the children was in the best interest of the children because they will be publicly credited for their participation in such an important campaign. This is something to be glad about because often children are not given the voice in the media. Instead they are frequently portrayed as voiceless victims.
Zanele Mtshweni, a 14 year old pupil from Masizakhe Primary School said that “before I was not involved in school garden because I thought it was for boys but after the camp I will join”. Bruce Mpofu from Tikelo Primary School said that “he would share the knowledge he learnt [at the camp] with his father”. These quotes show that the children are active participants in the project. The first also challenges gender stereotypes and the second, the idea that children have little or nothing to teach their elders.
The children’s comments also show how important the campaign is to them and how it is going to change their lives. However, most importantly these comments show that children are also valuable citizens and that they can make a difference if given the opportunity and platform to do so.