Skip to main content

Community Focused Radio: A powerful tool for a social change in Balochistan

http://thebalochistanpoint.com/community-focused-radio-a-powerful-tool-for-a-social-change-balochistan/



By: Talat Jehan

Community Radio is a relatively a new concept in Pakistan, as compared to other countries, where such a platform has been regularly used to bring awareness and enhance knowledge of local communities on different social issues. Radio is still considered to be a very powerful tool for disseminating useful information, and having a broader outreach and audience at Provincial as well as at National level. Technology, directly or indirectly, is also playing a very vital role, where the target audience can listen to any program from any region or country through internet streaming via computers, smart phones or different electronic gadgets.

Community Radio provides communities with an opportunity to share their problems and concerns through the powerful medium of Radio transmission and present problems, with possible solutions in the form of different Radio Programs. Interviews of prominent local leaders, Govt. counterparts, Entrepreneurs and CSO representatives are also part of the contents in each Radio programs transmitted from AM and FM frequencies.

United Nations Women UN Women and United Nationals Volunteers (UNV), are two important agencies within the UN system. UN Women is the UN agency responsible for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. UN Women is a global champion for women and girl’s rights, and was established to accelerate progress on meeting women’s needs worldwide. UNV on the other hand contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide, as Volunteers they try to facilitate changes in mindsets by raising awareness or championing those changes and inspiring others.

In March 2017, UN Women and UNV jointly collaborated and formed an initiative namely, the Community Focused Radio Project. The aim of the project was to mobilize the local communities, especially youth from different communities to further enhance their existing skills and abilities in such a way, that at a later stage they can act as a Voice of their respective communities by a Radio Program aired through the Pakistan Broadcasting House (Quetta Center, Balochistan). Radio Pakistan, Quetta Center played an important role from the training of the community volunteers to the final programs transmitted and aired through their station.  This pilot project was started from Balochistan, and after achieving the key milestones, it is hoped the same will be introduced in KPK during 2018 and in other provinces afterwards.

The Project initially started with a needs assessment carried out by UNV and UN Women, wherein different local communities, especially marginalised communities with restricted opportunities shared their issues and problems on a regular basis. During the pilot phase of the project, 15 volunteers from George Jaffar Town, Khaizi Town and 15 Hazara Volunteers from Hazara town were selected and then trained on different components of projects such as Information, Communication & Technology, Presentations Skills, Team Building, Gender, Script Writing and Radio Production. To further strengthen their skills and experience, professionals from University of Balochistan (Media Department and Public Relations) and technical staff of Radio Pakistan (Quetta Center) were regularly involved in different trainings of the Volunteers. Moreover, Government Departments such Women Development Department, Information Department, PEMRA, different Universities, Civil Society, Youth Groups and Volunteers were also regularly involved in different consultative workshops and meetings, and were also provided with a platform to interact on different International events such as International Volunteer Day, (5th Dec), Youth Day, World Radio Day etc. Consultative workshops were arranged with an aim of obtaining the inputs of relevant stakeholders on regular basis, and to bring overall improvement to the project interventions accordingly. 

The next phase of the project has already been initiated, with the aim of engaging additional communities, especially from the majority population of the Province, i.e. Baloch, Pashtoon and mixed population. Having their inclusion in the project will further contribute towards the overall objectives of the project. In addition, by including volunteers from diverse and different backgrounds; ethnically, linguistically and religiously, they will be given the opportunity of representing their Province Balochistan and their country Pakistan as a whole. Future volunteers will be trained on the same components as phase 1, and hopefully will be able to achieve the same set goals. Furthermore, they will be provided a platform to share the problems of their own communities, by being the change makers, and then finally present their work in the form Radio Program. Finally, having the identified topics to present, such as Youth and Volunteerism, Gender Equality & Empowerment, Education, Health & Hygiene, and Culture of their respective communities, they will participate in the script of the program.

Programs, interviews and suggestions that will be gathered for future Radio programs will give also provide a voice to the identified communities and in their words “will provide voice to the voiceless”.

Published in The Balochistan Point on February 10, 2018

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/5-shia-hazara-community-members-gunned-down-in-pakistan/story-CHWR4lYByRHzf2KjHjMloI.html



Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/chinas-digital-silk-road-pitfalls-among-high-hopes/


Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…