Progression of Media House_ Radio Kwizera_ 03 August 2016

Date: March 3, 2016
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Station name: Radio Kwizera

Country: Tanzania

Synopsis : 200 words

Sum up the situation of the Media House – how far has it come, how far has it progressed, what evidence is there of change. If possible, begin with an anecdote that demonstrates this change. The Jesuit Refugee Service in collaboration with UNHCR and the Catholic founded radio Kwizera (RK) in 1995 Dioceses of Rulenge-Ngara to advocate and accompany refugees help re-unite their families and initiate dialogue, educate them on their rights and obligations as per Tanzanian and International laws. The radio is a based in Ngara as the main station with its boosters in Kasulu, Kibondo, Kahama, Bukoba and Geita.

By 2008, most of the refugees from Rwanda and Burundi had already repatriated back to their country and the radio focused its services for the communities that hosted refugees in the northwestern Tanzania mainly in the regions of Kagera, Kigoma and Katavi. Most of RK programs are focused on education, information, entertainment, culture, security, religion and many other social issues that directly target the developmental needs of these communities. RK is gradually expanding its area of coverage by installing its boosters in Shinyanga, Simiyu, Musoma and Katavi.

Key objectives – 200 words

Please state the key gender mainstreaming objectives of the media house. Women are crucial to any structural change in development. RK involves them in execution of programs, opposing any discriminatory attitudes and expression against anybody. RK’s gender mainstreaming objectives are to empower women in its organizational structure, to facilitate a trickle-down effect in the gender needs in the population.

Within RK’s own structure, it directly engages nine women in its day-to-day running of the station. Some of these women are actively engaged in leadership roles that include a team leader in a satellite station in Kasulu, Kigoma region; an assistant chief editor of the station; and two district reporters who conduct business on behalf of RK in these respective districts.

The second facet of this involvement of women is reporting and programming on women’s issues. RK’s programs like ‘Jinsiana maendeleo’ (Gender and Development) directly touch on women while other programs also address women’s issues even though not exclusively. Through these programs, women are engaged directly to imagine solutions, in the context of the wider community, which can alleviate their place in their cultural milieu.

Background – 200 words

Give some background – What was the situation before gender mainstreaming efforts started. Include evidence from leaders within the institution, and those served by the institution. The state of women in this part of Tanzania, Rwanda Burundi and Eastern Congo DR that is reached by RK is still appalling despite inroads by several organizations and government agencies. The pace of observable change is very little. Despite this scenario, RK has still recorded a lot of attitudinal change in the immediate communities where change can be documented.

Of importance is the involvement of women in the programs of RK. These include feedback from women through letters, telephone calls, messages and social media responses and following. In the past, women would openly express their apprehension about being heard speaking out on issues because that would be a cause of violence or a sustained of already happening violence. With time, there is a great change noted. This is evidence of change, some of which is to be found in RK’s audio archives

Key activities – 300 words

Please list at least five in bullet form.

  • Jinsia Na Maendeleo (Gender and development) – An educative program that seeks to speak on gender issues and development in the community. This program runs once every week with a repeat
  • Sauti ya Jamii (Voice of the People) – A weekly program that allows the community express different challenges of development and other issues of their concern in their daily lives, gender issues are one of the major issues that this program directly engages in.
  • Funguka mwana kwetu (Speak out) – A monthly documentary that addresses in depth community issues. It main objective is to engage the community directly in searching for specific solutions to specific problems. Children and gender issues take precedence
  • Utamaduni Wetu (Our Culture) – Seeks to educate the population about gender practices in various parts of Tanzania. In Gender issues, culture is a major area of concern; this program encourages a critical and balanced exploration of the listeners’ cultures
  • Vijana Na Maisha Yetu (Youth and Our Lives) – This program targets the youth directly. This is perhaps the programs that directly reaches the youth most. This program gives the youth an opportunity to express their concern and have a dialogue among them.
  • Afya ya Jamii (Community Health) – A weekly program that educates on health, major broadcasts on this program feature nutrition and reproductive health.
  • Strengths – 300 words

What have been the main strengths?

The strengths that have made RK a viable area for reaching out to a wide audience in the area of gender issues is the same factors that make it well placed to serve the population of these regions. Among the strengths that propel RK are Monopoly: RK enjoys a very wide uncontested audience in North Western Tanzania that cover four wide regions in Tanzania; Rwanda, Burundi, and Eastern Congo. RK also engages reporters in all these regions and countries that maintain a connection.

Proximity: In media economics, proximity is key to relating with an audience. Comparing to other Tanzanian radio, RK is more relevant because we are down there with the people and do not broadcast from a capital that is so far away and so foreign to the day-to-day lives of the people. For the listeners of neighbouring countries, we still make efforts to offer them programming in languages they relate with. For instance in collaboration with Radio France International which broadcasts in both Swahili and French Issues of Concern: Adding to the proximity advantage, the issues of concern are of the people, and they relate with the daily news and concerns on broadcast.

Faith Based approach: RK is run by a Catholic organization. However, it engages a wider faith based background that brings on board Christians and Muslims. The faith-based approach adds a value tenet into the discourse that is propounded by RK. Technology and Internet Use: RK strives to engage the use of internet technology in its programming. At present, RK streams online on that maintains touch with several other regions that frequency broadcasting does not reach.

These include refugee families that have since relocated to various parts of the world from our neighbourhoods.

Challenges – 300 words

What have been the main challenges? How have these been overcome? E.g. resistance.

Resistance: In 2013, one of our reporters was killed in a district for reporting a story that touched directly on a community issue in the hands of the administration. This was the climax of a failure of collaboration from local administration that is a key challenge.

Cultural stereotyping: “If I report that my spouse beats me, he is going to be jailed, who will take care of me and the kids?” RK reporters meet this common question especially from women. It sustains a cultural silence of women and girls whose culture demands that they ought to keep quiet at the expense of their dignity.

Infrastructural challenges: Being a semi urban location, RK suffers from occasional infrastructural challenges that impede the ability to reach the people who need to have their voices heard most. These include accessibility due to poor state of roads in some areas and in some seasons, power outages among other challenges.

Poverty: A high percentage of the areas reached by RK in Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Condo DR are predominantly poor. Biharamlo, the poorest district in Tanzania and Kigoma the poorest region, according to ministry of Finance reports, are parts of the core areas RK broadcasts to. Funding to be able to reach more people and be able to make some individual community gender based responses still poses key challenges.

Women’s empowerment – 200 words

How have women been empowered because of gender mainstreaming efforts?

The major contribution of RK to the empowerment of women has been in terms of dissemination of crucial information. Through information, RK has been able to empower women to make choices that centre on their own empowerment. A few examples will suffice: in airing programs about local markets, women vendors are able to lay adequate plans on where to buy and sell, which is a major economic activity conducted by women, women are also informed about services that are run by other stakeholders in the area like village banking among others. All these are areas where women have been empowered besides being given a voice that helps them appreciate their own unique identity.

Within the institutional structures, the women working with RK have also been empowered in different ways that include occasional capacity based training, mostly in collaboration with other stakeholders. The experience that many women receive in volunteering with RK is worth mentioning too.

Men for change – 200 words

Have men become supportive of gender equality because of the institutions gender mainstreaming efforts? Please give examples. Because of Gender mainstreaming efforts by RK, women in the institutional structure are receiving support to work with men, even in some leadership roles as pointed out in earlier questions. This can be said to be a growth in Men themselves supporting the change by offering such kind of cooperation. These examples have been pointed out before: A team leader of one of the key satellite stations in Kasulu, Kigoma region is a woman who has worked very well in the past as Production

Officer; an assistant chief editor of the station; and two district reporters who conduct business on behalf of RK in these respective districts. It may be a little far-fetched to claim the same for the populations in the communities reached by RK. Change here can be characterised as taking a very slow pace majorly because of a cultural background that is yet to be fully penetrated. Even with this, men have shown a change that is to be found in several giving personal commitments to make the state of women better, majorly in messages and call in programs.

Capacity building – 100 words

How has the training you receive on gender from NGOs, Governments etc. helped to build skills, create voice, agency, enhance leadership and empowerment and inspire journalist? The major benefits received by journalists who have had the chance to attend trainings include being able to report, and produce their stories with clarity, ensure balance of the genders while interviewing their sources and respondents, ensure and maintain the dignity and confidentiality of those affected in various ways while doing their stories, and know how to evaluate their impact while making occasional follow-up

Content – 300 words

How has the gender training improved quality of programming/ reporting? Please provide examples. Trainings build capacity to be aware of prevailing situations, to be able to critically reflect on possibilities of change where necessary, and be able to draw possibilities of such change while putting on place practical solutions of how to track the change and deal with any other implications of the change. In the case of gender mainstreaming training for journalists, the major areas that have improved in terms of quality is in maintaining an ethical system that respects the Human rights of individuals who are reached as subjects of our stories, informers, among others.

In interviewing sources, it is a policy of the station that a journalist has to balance the genders and in this way ensure the voice of whichever gender that is not dominant is heard; in most cases, the dominant gender is the men, hence women are given a voice too. This ethical balance is maintained through a rigorous method of in-house evaluations that are conducted each morning on each program that is aired the previous day. This way a constant evaluation is ensured. The change in quality can be attributed to the capacity building that occurs from various trainings, but also from a constant effort in the organizational culture to ensure standards, especially those that border on human dignity.

Changes within the work place – 300 words.

Are the gender mainstreaming efforts influencing any changes in power relations at the work place? Please give a few examples. Although it might appear that the Board of the Radio station is not inclusive, it is rooted in the formative structure of the institution. The Board is constituted of three Catholic Bishops, in whose jurisdiction the station operates; the director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Jesuit Provincial Superior of the Eastern Africa Province of the Society of Jesus, and the Director himself, a Jesuit. This manpower draws from the Clergy and is necessarily male. Greater efforts at inclusivity have therefore been made at the level of day to day running of the station, and the roles taken up by women in other spheres within the institution attest to this.

How this affects power, relations may not be quantifiable; this structure has come a very long way from the founding of the station. Women have always had a place in the life of the station, and it is not something new to the men, as it could be in the community. It has therefore been sucked into the organization’s culture that women are as good as men are, and no one is inferior or superior following gender.

Changes in attitudes – 200 words

Are audience attitudes changing because of the COE work in the media house? Please provide at least one example. Attitude changes can also just be pointed at through indicators, but not quantifiable. However, there are number of strong indicators that can be pointed out. First, the COE work strives towards inspiring change in the worldview of the population. A good example would be the awe expressed by the audiences when they get to meet some of the celebrated journalists that are engaged in the day-to-day programming. Most of the women working at RK are young women, the image they present when they go out is that of ‘women too can do it,’ and the acceptance they receive from audiences is a pointer towards this desirable change; of accepting that women too are able to play a day to day role in the developmental life of communities.

The second pointer towards attitude change is to be seen in the responses that are received from the audience especially during programming that responds to gender mainstreaming issues. Listeners have in the past sent responses after listening to a program and made comments that border on commitment to make choices that will better the mainstreaming discourse championed by the station.

Lesson learned and innovation – 200 words

What lessons have been learned in the process?

How are these being applied?

The major lessons learnt revolve around cultural relations and how they shape attitudes around gender issues. Majorly, cultures shape how men and women relate in line with their genders; and in cultures where one gender is predominantly superior to another, an understanding of the culture is key to creating interventions that will respond to the needs of those who are trampled upon. This is a major lesson that has inspired the station to craft programs that do not just insist on legal solutions but a balance between authority and dialogue when searching for solutions.

The resource levels of communities are another deep lesson. In communities where some members cannot even afford a radio set to follow what is happening in the programming, it becomes an illusion to conclude that they are being reached. The lessons inspire an immersion into the culture and a drive to deal with communities in a much-contextualized basis.

Literally, it is a call to get into the day-to-day life of the community. This is acted upon by opening lines of communication so that as many people can reach us, and as many people can be reached by the staff in the field.

Sustainability and replication – 100 words

How can these gender-mainstreaming efforts be sustained within your organisation?

How can your Media House contribute to replicating process?

The major way is in converting policies critically into organizational cultural practices; that is, when policies shape the way people relate in the organization, they are easily translated from documented data to a way of life that is open to growth and change. This is a key method that the organization infuses into each day. The way the media house can replicate this is through going out more into the community to inspire change. On a similar note, empowering women on a wider basis within the organization creates a trickle-down effect to other women in the community.

To find out more on policies and editorial guidelines for Radio Kwizera click here