We’d like to share our latest venture. (The story behind this is powerful and we will be sharing it in the New Year.)
Community-based radio remains the most important and trusted information medium in Africa. Here’s why:
– Radio reaches people in rural areas without electricity or internet access.
– Radio is accessible to the illiterate or semi-literate.- Radio is free, there are no data charges.
– Radio builds on Africa’s rich traditions of oral storytelling.
Every day, important radio content created for rural African audiences is forever lost. Valuable content that can be used for training, health, general education, farming, gender-based violence, news and entertainment isn’t saved or shared. Why? No central platform exists that content creators (such as communications NGOs, community radio stations and media outlets) can use to permanently archive and distribute their content in a free and user-friendly way. If you’re illiterate and poor, or simply isolated, you don’t have options to obtain information you need via mainstream media in your mother tongue. Nor do you have options to easily learn anything new. Further, rumours and fake news often travel more quickly and may be more influential than factual information.
Today’s COVID-19 crisis is an example of the critical need for a rapid-response communications platform that can reach at-risk populations with low literacy levels, but desperately need access to reliable information sources. If such a platform was operational at the early stages of the outbreak, health messages and advice could have been easily loaded in hundreds of languages to reach millions.
That’s why we need a bank – a place to save and provide free, downloadable radio segments in many languages for repeated use by African radio stations, educators and NGOs across the continent. That’s why Radio Voice Bank (RVB) is so urgently needed.
Radio Voice Bank is like YouTube, but for radio. It’s the world’s first open source, comprehensive and searchable library of curated audio content for African listeners with limited access to information. A podcasting platform will enable downloading and listening to all types of programmes, dramas, messaging via data and internet-enabled devices by individuals, community groups, health providers and broadcasters. By educating, informing and inspiring in languages people understand, RVB has the potential to impact many millions of lives with information they want and need on demand. Having access to trusted information has never been more important than it is now.
View the Radio Voice Bank website for more information.