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Distance learning session between the Programme Advisor of Radio Ndeke Luka and a partner radio station in the Central African Republic. ©Marcelin Ridja / Fondation Hirondelle Distance learning session between the Programme Advisor of Radio Ndeke Luka and a partner radio station in the Central African Republic.

Covid-19 response in CAR: Radio Ndeke Luka offers distance training to its partner radios

Radio Ndeke Luka, supported by Fondation Hirondelle, trains Central African community radio managers remotely in the production and broadcasting of programmes against COVID-19. In the context of the multifaceted crisis in CAR, radio is a vector of information that can save lives.

Following the outbreak of the health crisis in March 2020 in the Central African Republic, Fondation Hirondelle and its team at Radio Ndeke Luka have adapted their way of supporting and accompanying Central African community radio stations. Remote support is provided through telephone coaching sessions led by Radio Ndeke Luka's Program Advisor. Together with the managers of the partner radios, he identifies topics and local resource persons, ensures understanding of health instructions and barrier gestures, and supports the design and production of radio programmes related to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spots on health instructions and barrier gestures as well as educational radio programmes (produced in partnership with UNICEF) have been sent to community radio stations to enable them to strengthen their broadcasting capacity despite the crisis.

This remote support operation began the week of 13 April in collaboration with the community radio platform in the Central African Republic, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF. 12 radio stations were targeted throughout the country. This activity is part of the global programme implemented by Fondation Hirondelle through Radio Ndeke Luka in CAR and financed by the Bêkou Fund of the European Union and by the Swiss Cooperation (SDC).

Radio Ndeke Luka also launched mid-March a radio campaign called "All advice to fight the Covid-19 pandemic", in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Unicef and WHO. The community radio platform now also broadcasts this mass information and awareness campaign.

Mariette Mowe, director of Kuli Ndounga community radio in Nola, south-western CAR, appreciates the broadcasts and resources received through this distance support, including the training package on barrier measures and health instructions from the Ministry of Health. "Listeners in our locality are not aware of the reality of Covid-19 apart from people following foreign radio stations," she explains. With these productions and this way of informing, the population of Nola will become aware of the dangers of this pandemic."