With the onset of COVID 19 in 2020 and the subsequent lockdown, it became hard for people to meet in groups or meetings yet this is one of the common means of interaction for people in rural communities.
After a thorough study in partner communities in Abim District, it was noted that community radios would be the best solution to this challenge. Therefore, SAO Uganda with support from Help a Child International set up nine community radios in different parishes in Abim District.
Established in 2021, these radios have continued to be of use even after the lifting of the lockdown. According to Abenyal Jacob Collins, also known as black skeleton, a Presenter at one of the community radios; Aojapilo Community Voice, the community radio has made communication in their parish (Aojapilo Parish) easy.
“Through the radio we preach the word of God on Sundays, we also conduct community sensitization in the form of Music Dance and Drama (MDD) every Sunday evening; the usual topics are child protection and parents’ responsibilities.”
Mr Imran Abenyan, the Local Council II Chairperson of Aojapilo adds that, “During the cattle raiding season, the radio was of much help because we would notify people to keep away from the community boundaries in the evening because armed officials would be lurking around. So just this announcement would scare off the raiders and therefore, no one lost cattle in our parish during the 2022 cattle raids.”
Ms Florence Agero the Cluster Level Associates (CLA) in-charge, Community Radio adds that they have raised money as the CLA through the radio, “This money is from announcements such as death announcements, lost and found property. We use it in the payment of rent. We are now planning on turning the radio room into a modern one with a table and a nice chair for the presenter plus a carpet.