| ||organisation: various|
country: Senegal, UK
product: radio broadcasting & training
distribution: locally via FM and worldwide via Internet
what: radio is often synonymous with fun but it can be much more than this. In fact, in many parts of the world, radio plays a fundamental role in strengthening social cohesion and enhancing the participation of young people in community life.
radio Oxy-Jeunes: in Senegal, for example, radio is about the only way a largely illiterate poor population can know what's going on. Even in the poorest districts of Dakar (the capital), kids on the corner hold transistor radios to their ears. Women selling dried fish on the street invest a portion of their meagre earnings to have access to a world beyond their view.
radio Regen: the Senegalese radio station is just one example, among others, of using radio as a tool to empower and regenerate local communities. All around the world small, often local, radios have been created to provide marginalised people (because of age, gender, or for whatever reason) a place to get informed, be trained, exchange ideas, and express their creativity. The example below shows that such experiences have also been undertaken in industrialised countries where societies are still far from being really inclusive…
- Radio Oxy-Jeunes (ROJ) - literally ‘Oxygen for Youth’ - offers a bold and empowering message to the youth and disadvantaged poor of Dakar, giving them both knowledge and a place to participate in public discussions. By broadcasting in seven local languages as well as French, ROJ is breathing emotional and political oxygen into the lives of young people suffering from widespread unemployment, HIV/AIDS, crime, and political impotence.
sustainability features: even if rooted in different socio-economic contexts, the two examples above well illustrate the role radio (and more broadly, media) can play in empowering people and moving towards more sustainable societies.
- Radio Regen [www.radioregen.org] - where ‘regen’ stands for ‘regeneration’ - is a community radio operating in Manchester, UK. Its Re-Mix The Streets initiative is a project involving socially excluded young people in radio work so that they can gain social recognition. Groups of youth are invited to organise music shows directly in the streets, wherever they are: the Radio Regen organiser provides support thanks to a portable radio studio. Once recorded, the music show is broadcast on Radio Regen. Among the other services offered, there’s also a special course in radio skills specially addressed to women. Radio Regen is the licensee of two 'Access Radio' pilot stations: full time community radio stations largely staffed by volunteers. The stations are ALL FM 96.9 for Manchester's A6 Corridor and Wythenshawe FM 97.2 (www.wfmradio.org).