It's been a long time coming but Biso na Biso, the first ever indigenous language community radio station in the Congo Basin, is now live on air.
The project, funded with generous support from the WB Development Marketplace (2005), Congolaise Industrielle des Bois, TFT and the Chirac Foundation, aims to give indigenous people and local communities a voice in forest management decision-making that impacts their livelihoods. The project is a unique collaboration between indigenous communities, a large forest concession company (CIB), Dr Jerome Lewis from University College London, Globecom (a South African radio specialist) and TFT. (Photo by Jérôme Lewis.)
You can listen to some of the initial broadcasts at TFT's 'In Conversation' Podcast site http://tft.podomatic.com/entry/eg/2009-01-30T02_39_27-08_00
In previous Blogs I've talked about the radio project and the efforts we've taken to reach this important milestone; it's fair to say that we under-estimated the time and effort required to establish the station. But now that we've actually got the station up and running, there's an important part of the project implementation process that should not be forgotten - that great moment where you can sit back, take stock and reflect on the grand achievement of finally reaching the goal. It's an important act because we all need that moment of achievement, the planting of the flag as it were on the summit but at the same time, it's really important to be very humble; remember all of your colleagues and supporters that have made it possible; don't bask in any glory and don't even pat yourself on the back for too long because no project has a concise start and end point, there is only a progression. Enjoy the moment -but just for a moment!! - and then re-double your efforts because having achieved so much, it's easy for things to fall back. In our case, the challenge now is to keep the station running and broadcasting on a regular basis but more than that, our challenge is to ensure that the radio sticks to its fundamental philosophy of being a community radio so we have to be sure that the broadcasts and their content remain under community control.
Thanks to everyone, particularly all our partners for their great efforts in reaching this milestone!