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Radio Salam

READ THE LATEST FIELD REPORT ON RADIO SALAM (09/2004)

Organization

UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

Contact details

UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
Galina Solodunova
Communication Officer
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Email: gsolodunova@unicef.org
Website: www.unicef.org/infobycountry/kyrgyzstan.html


Project partners

Foundation for Tolerance International
Internews Kyrgyzstan

Location

Batken, Kyrgyzstan (rural)

Background

The whole Batken region, a very unstable and sensitive area in the south of Kyrgyzstan, did not have a single independent media outlet until the Radio Salam project. The area, which has been subject to a number of militant incursions since 1999, remains a hotspot in the Ferghana Valley.

Aims and objectives

The project was tailored to educate and entertain young people in Batken, to give them hope for a better future and to involve them in actively building civil society.

Participants

The staff of the radio station consists of eight people. More than 40 volunteers help the staff to develop audiences and maintain contact with them. For example, volunteers travel by bicycle around the region to collect the feedback that children can put in special boxes installed in their schools. In general, the participants are young people aged 9-18 from in and around Batken.

Wider beneficiaries

The whole area benefits from the radio station. It has lifted the morale of the population, and the station has proved to be an important tool for education and information. Young people, who are the main target group, are also the main beneficiaries.

Involvement of children

The young audience is actively involved in the content of programmes.

Summary of project

The radio station now produces 18 hours of programming every day, including music, news, documentaries and feature stories. The end product is a better educated and better informed youth.

Funders

UNICEF

Cost

The overall funding for the first 1.5 years of the station's existence is around US$80,000. About US$30,000 was spent on start-up equipment, the rest on training, salaries and other operational costs.

Strengths of project

The greatest strength of the project is its identity-building component. The young people of Batken were given a common issue to debate and have developed a certain drive to carry the project along, helping out wherever they can.

Challenges

The station is likely to have problems in sustaining itself because of the very bad economic situation in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

Evaluation

Impact reports will be available soon.

Lessons learned

The most important lesson we have learned is the fact that this project was and is necessary to boost the morale of a whole region. Future projects of this kind could work well in similar regions with similar effect.

Good ideas

Publicity in the form of donated T-shirts with logos, baseball caps and bicycles for volunteers are not luxuries but necessities. This is money well spent and helps to give a station the identity and support it needs to make a real impact.

 

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