Community Radio for Change REMIX
While many ARC users have talked about the Internet, mobile tech, videos, low tech tools like Questionbox, and even the use of pictures-- we have yet to discuss the possibilities that can exist in Rur
This idea focuses on rural community radio as a way of transmitting useful information about new agricultural techniques (and other topics useful for rural community development) and as a means of building leadership and providing employment for rural women in Africa.
Background (Success Stories)
1. The following article is about a successful community radio project that took place in Donga-Mantung, north-west Cameroon, sponsored by a London-based organization.
According to the article this initiative was successful becaus:
-it provided a necessary service to the Donga-Mantung community. Villagers now had access to news and information they previously lacked.
-the radios were cheap and easy to access for members of the community.
2. The following link introduces Small-holder Farmers Rural Radio a great idea about the potential of rural radio to transform rural communities by providing information about topics as diverse as crop production, HIV/AIDs, food safety, fertilizer usage, rainwater havesting etc.
The rural radio system can also provide reliable market information to help farmers reduce post-harvest losses by transporting only the quantities and crops that they are able to sell on any given market day, or for particular buyers. A wide variety of local, national and international sources can be tapped to develop the market content.
Additionally Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio recruits and trains smallholder farmer as radio presenters, as the radio management committee, and as technicians. In this way they ensure that the topic and style of the programming meets the needs/interest of the local community and also provide skills training and leadership opportunities for
Learning from the successes (and also the challenges) of other rural radio initiatives, we can bring rural community radio to another rural area.
*Where would be a good target area to implement this idea? It might be useful to think about areas which have local small-holder farmer organizations already in existence, because existing local organizations could make really useful partners in implementing this idea*
We would make sure to focus on training and hiring women for many of the skilled roles as technicians, within the community management board and also as presenters.
*What might be some of the local obstacles preventing women from taking part in this initiative and how would you prevent them? Perhaps there'd be some particular outreach method (perhaps some women's organizations?) that you would undertake to try to appeal to women and make sure these roles would be accessible (time wise and socially) for local women.
Along with the agricultural, technical, market, and public health information, the community radio could feature Radio Dramas--of the sort many countries already have, allowing opportunities to talk about major social issues the community may be facing. Perhaps trained women farmers could take the lead role in developing these storylines.
*Perhaps working with Smallholder Farmers or RadioActive would be a great place to start, since they have the technology and the prior experience to install the infrastructure necessary to create a community radio system.
Check out this great website giving the history (more than 30 years!) of rural radio usage and highlighting some of the obstacles and possibilities of this format.
Got a suggestion on how to make this idea even better?REMIX IT!