At the beginning of October, Fondation Hirondelle launched a new project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), supported by Sweden. It aims to contribute to democratic society with general interest media content primarily for women and young people.
This project builds on Fondation Hirondelle’s expertise and activities in the DRC in recent years. Over the course of the project, a network of 30 to 50 partner radio stations across the country will receive training in journalism, management and marketing, plus some technical support. The process of selecting partner radios for this project has started with a first evaluation mission to Kongo central province, in western DRC.
Fondation Hirondelle’s network of local correspondents will be strengthened so as to offer the population media content relevant to them and their daily lives. These correspondents will receive continuous training from the Fondation Hirondelle team, in line with a policy of “Form’Action”, or learning by doing. This coaching will be provided for both the editorial team that will be set up in Kinshasa for the project and the correspondents, who will, after initial training, receive distance advice and supervision.
The Fondation Hirondelle team in the DRC will develop content adapted to people’s habits and new patterns of media consumption. Training will be given on writing for the Web, producing videos, Motion Design videos and infographics, whilst at the same time instilling in the young journalists principles of quality, ethics, professionalism and impartiality which are at the heart of Fondation Hirondelle’s values.
Content produced for the project will include programmes on justice and environmental issues, portraits of actors in the field, the Hirondelle feature “All the Hopes of Congo”, sharing experiences from the ground, and “Motion Design” videos on civic and environmental issues. These productions will be broadcast on 100 radio stations and 20 television stations across the country.
Eight public “Hirondelle Debates” will also be organized in Kinshasa and the provinces, so as to create interactivity between listeners and experts.
The “Citizen media promoting participation in public life” project started on October 1 and runs until 31 August 2019. Its total budget is 1,900,000 USD, of which 1,500,000 USD is funded by Sweden. Fondation Hirondelle is seeking funding to cover the remaining 400,000 USD.