Let’s Talk About Everything


Liz Waid and Colin Lowther look at a project in Argentina. It aims to be a safe place where young people can get answers about important but difficult questions.

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Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2  

And I’m Colin Lowther. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

Have you ever had a question, but you were afraid to ask someone about it? Many people feel this way. Maybe it was a question about something that made you feel shame or a question about your own body. Maybe you wanted to keep the question private. But what if you really wanted an answer? What would you do then?

Voice 2  

If you have a question like this, you may begin by searching the Internet. If your question is about sex or alcohol and drug use, you may not want anyone to know about it. And the Internet does not judge you for your questions. But an Internet search can also provide many different answers. It can provide false information. And it can be difficult to know where you will find an honest answer.

Voice 1  

This is why the government of Argentina created a website called Hablemos de Todo. In English the name means: Let’s Talk About Everything. It is a website where young people in Argentina can ask questions and get information about many different things. Today’s Spotlight is on Hablemos de Todo.

Voice 2  

The young people of Argentina are like the young people of any other country. They like to spend time with their friends. They are interested in new technology. And they try new experiences. These new experiences often include things like drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or trying sex.

Voice 1  

Many parents do not want to talk to their children about these issues. It is uncomfortable. And they believe that if they talk about these things, it will encourage their children to try them. However, in 2017, the Institute of Development Studies did a study. They discovered that 44 percent of young people in Argentina have sex before they are 16 years old. Most of these young people have no idea how to prevent pregnancy. They do not know how to stop sexually transmitted diseases. Some experts think that this may result in an increase of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Voice 2  

These are some of the reasons the government wanted to give information about these issues to young people. Natalia Herbst is a Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary of Youth. She talked to government help group Apolitical. She explained how they tried to make the information seem interesting to young people.

Voice 3  

“In the very beginning of this project, it was based only in Buenos Aires. We decided to make information that speaks to the common concerns of young people. This is information about sexuality and who they are as a person and things like that. We tried to use a young style and look. We tried to make the information as useful and friendly as possible. It is different from other government communication.”

Voice 1  

Hablemos de Todo launched in May of 2017. On the website, young people ask questions about many different things. It is not just about sex. There is information about violence against women, eating problems, drug use, caring for your body, and what to do if you feel like killing yourself. Real people answer the questions correctly and simply. They use materials from local organizations and UNICEF. They answer questions for 12 hours every work day. However, the program plans to expand. It wants to offer answers 24 hours each day.

Voice 2  

Hablemos de Todo has been very successful. In its first year it had over 100,000 Facebook followers. Its information videos on YouTube have been seen over a million times. And the website has answered over half a million questions from young people. Most of the users are from Argentina. But young people from Mexico, Spain, and the United States have all used the website.

Voice 1  

But not everyone thinks that Hablemos de Todo is a good idea. Some religious leaders in Argentina opposed the website. They wrote against Hablemos de Todo in newspapers and magazines. They also spoke out against it at meetings and on television. They even began a petition against it. They collected names of people who did not like the project in order to stop it. They believed that Hablemos de Todo was not helping young people. Instead, they thought the information would encourage young people to make bad decisions.

Voice 2  

There are also limits to Hablemos de Todo as a website. In Argentina most people have good Internet access. But 30 percent of the population does not. Herbst explains how Hablemos de Todo knows they can never reach all the young people in the country. She told Apolitical,

Voice 3  

“You need an offline piece to reach the parts of the population that do not know about the website. They may not have internet. Or they do not have enough private space to use the website. Or they may share a computer with their parents.”

Voice 1  

Hablemos de Todo knows they cannot be the only place young people get their information about difficult subjects. For example, there is much value in school education, talking with parents or other adults, or in the teaching and values of the religious leaders. Again, Herbst explains,

Voice 3  

“We need teachers in every classroom – it does not have to be just the website or just schools. But even in a perfect world where every teacher discusses these issues in schools, there is a good part of being able to ask a question without anyone knowing who you are. Privacy is very important to young people.”

Voice 2  

And Hablemos de Todo does try to find ways to get young people talking together. When the website was started, they held a live event. Over 2,500 young people came to listen to music, play games, and hear about the project. Pedro Robledo was the National Undersecretary of Youth. He said,

Voice 4  

"We came to talk about these issues. Talking is how to inform, educate young people, and solve problems. We hope that when a child searches for something on the Internet about these issues, we, as the Government are willing to talk about everything.”

Voice 1  

What do you think? Where do you get information like this from? What do you wish you could ask someone? You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net.

Voice 2  

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Let’s Talk About Everything’.

Voice 1  

Look for our free official app in the Google Play Store and in iTunes. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

When you have a difficult question to ask, where do you seek advice? Do you usually get good advice or bad advice?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Honneur
said on April 17, 2019

When I have a problem and I think about the solution I normally get it in my own brain. Sometimes, there are problems that become harassments and then I search first the Internet in tools like Youtube and motors of search like Google or Bing. I also use to ask my sisters or my friends, but, nowadays, Youtube and Google are able to furnish the answers I’m asking for.
Thank You.

Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on April 18, 2019

We learn and train to live to be good persons. We learn and train to be able to stand before difficulties and challenges. We keep away from not-good things. Being good persons, we are persons of freedom and we do not depend on not-good things. A thing is good when it is within bounds of its goodness and not good when not within bounds of its goodness. Things are relative. Not-good things are harmful. It is very good when we do not depend on any not-good things. We learn and train to live to be good persons. We learn and train to be able to stand before difficulties and challenges. We live a beautiful good life. We live to be good persons.