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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Creating radio for farmers: First discussions for an e-course (by Blythe McKay, Manager, Resources for Broadcasters, Farm Radio International)

Against the scenic backdrop of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, I recently participated in a meeting hosted by the Media and Training Centre for Health, and supported by the Commonwealth of Learning’s Healthy Communities program. People from all over the world attended. They represented organizations involved in community projects that promote learning on health, ranging from improving maternal and child health in Malawi to using radio to create programs that target youth health issues in South Africa.

One of the week’s highlights was a visit to Radio Atlantis, a station 45 minutes from Cape Town, where we listened to a radio program on youth and substance abuse. We remained at the station after the program and witnessed a group of community members participate in a facilitated discussion about the show.

The meeting was designed to give everyone the opportunity to learn from their peers about the different aspects of creating a successful community learning program on health. I learned about sustainability, evaluation, collaborating with groups at the community level, identifying key messages and objectives, and using ICTs to enhance learning, guided by participants from Jamaica, the UK, Malawi, South Africa and India. I shared the e-Learning approach to creating radio scripts that Farm Radio International has developed for radio broadcasters in Africa. Several of the organizations are considering using e-Learning to help develop the skills of broadcasters in their regions who are producing radio programs on health.

Together with several other participants, I brainstormed on how to develop an e-course for broadcasters that focuses on creating an ongoing radio program that responds to farmers’ needs. In collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning, Farm Radio International will be launching this e-course sometime in 2012. So stay tuned for more information over the coming months!

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