On The Road

Occasional ramblings from a rambling journalist

Innovative Advocacy in Kenya

While HCR’s partner in  Kenya works hard to obtain a community radio licence for the conflict-torn Tana River,  the team on the ground have been continuing the work we began in June by meeting community groups, lobbying local government and vociferously advocating to bring pressure for the release of a licence.  In a touch of amazing ingenuity, the Tana FM team were invited to have a stand to celebrate World Food Day (WFD) in the Tana River capital, Hola, recently.  


Improvised broadcasting to prove the value of radio to promote peace, health and social development in Tana River

Improvised broadcasting to prove the value of radio to promote peace, health and social development in Tana River


Using the content they made during the HCR workshop in June, they demonstrated how FM radio works through an improvised transmitter and antenna (above), going live on air.  People all around tuned their FM pocket radios and mobile phones to listen and contributed to the broadcasts.  The WFD organisers were so impressed that they said the Tana FM stand was the best in using technology to improve food security and invited them to participate in future county occasions with radio broadcasting.

We remain hopeful that the licence will soon be released so that work can begin on installing the equipment and HCR can continue training and building capacity on the ground.

Guest visits Tana FM

A guest has his say at the Tana FM stand on World Food Day

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  • Filed under: Events
  • Thirty participants from Pakistan’s major FM radio channels and representatives from INGO and NGO agencies have welcomed plans to set up a First Response Radio (FRR) network in Pakistan.   Speaking at FRR’s inaugural meeting at a hotel in Islamabad, IOM (International Organisation for Migration) coordinator Naima Saeed told the audience that radio was a key medium for communicating with survivors after a disaster and that establishing First Response radio in Pakistan will be a great step forward in helping disaster affected communities.

    Naima Saeed

    IOM’s Naima Saeed speaking at the First Response Radio inaugural event in Islamabad


    The event marks the start of a plan to equip and train local teams to set up a radio station within 72 hours of a disaster anywhere in Pakistan.   HCR’s Hazeen Latif who is the First Response Pakistan coordinator says, “In the last ten years, nine teams have been trained, 15 disasters responded to, and we’ve been getting closer to the 72 hour mark as witnessed in the First Response Radio deployment to Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.”

    The event in Islamabad was a collaborative venture between Pakistan-based NGO, Foundation for Better Tomorrow (FFBT), First Response and HCR.

    HCR's Jon Hargreaves, Ross James and Hazeen Latif with Shaikh Wasim Ahmed, CEO of FFTB

    HCR’s Jon Hargreaves, Ross James and Hazeen Latif with Shaikh Wasim Ahmed, CEO of FFTB

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  • Filed under: earthquake, Events, FIRST Response, HCR, Jon's Journeys, Uncategorized
  • Building Bridges With Fellow Texans Highlight Video from Northwood Church on Vimeo.

    Over 2,500 Muslims and Christians got together at a Church in Texas on September 18, 2011, to understand one another’s religions, build friendships and eat fabulous food!  What a great example of how to build peace and understanding.  No doubt there’ll be criticisms from within both communities – but weren’t we told that it would be so.


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  • Filed under: Events
  • Budrus will be made available for free online for 24 hours at http://mubi.com/films/budrus on September 21st, 2011, the International Day of Peace.

    Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat. The movie is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (co-writer and editor of Control Room and co-director Encounter Point), and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni (formerly of WITNESS, Director of Encounter Point).

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  • Filed under: Events
  • Ten years ago the Southern England town of Lewes suffered devastating flooding causing residents and local authorities to consider how best to protect the area in the future. This experience makes it ideally suited for a UK disaster response workshop and broadcast field trial which we’ll be running later this month.

    Using the scene of the local disaster as its backdrop, we will be training some of its UK staff and partners in how to use radio to respond to disasters, culminating in the setting up of an „emergency radio station‟ which will broadcast to the people of Lewes on 3rd and 4th December. The workshop combines background knowledge about radio with the unique environment experienced in disaster relief work and involves the expertise of local government officials. Once trained, the staff will then transfer their skills internationally and help set up new teams in various disaster-prone parts of the world, ready to jump into action the moment disaster strikes.

    For several years in Asia, First Response has been leading the way in the use of radio for disaster response as they have found that besides the need for food, shelter and safety, one of the greatest needs is information. Tsunami survivor Pavita remembers this well:

    “I didn‟t want to see another cooking pot – I had as many as I would ever need. I wanted to know where my family was going to be living in a month‟s time!”

    Three weeks after the 2004 Asian tsunami there was only one thing she wanted: hard facts about her future. Since then we have worked with broadcasters in Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to further develop “FIRST Response” a project which comprises the needed equipment (including a suitcase studio), a programming system based on the listeners need for critical information and a workshop to teach radio journalists, relief workers and government personnel how to put these into use in the field.

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  • Filed under: Events, FIRST Response