Community Media for Kenya (CM4K) is a community-based transformative learning partnership that seeks to empower marginalised communities and groups in Kenya through the development of active community media partnerships, knowledge sharing and capacity building through training.
The project aims to utilise information, media and communications technologies to empower the voices of the disenfranchised.
In September 2016, we were approached by a group of subsistence smallholders from a remote rural community (Cham gi Wadu) to:
1) help the community build a community radio station; and
2) train local people to operate and sustain the radio station as a community resource. Radio is an effective means of communication for marginalised people providing access to information resources to sustain their livelihoods.
Established 11 years ago, CM4K continues to expand through active collaboration with our partners. Like many similar development communication initiatives, the work of CM4K was restricted by the global Covid 19 pandemic but we are now back exploring ways in which community media and radio in particularly can be made accessible to diverse Kenyan communities so they may harness the benefits of the digital age. To this end we have recently been approached by universities in other parts of Kenya to discuss how the work of CM4K might be expanded. This feels very much like a significant moment and we are also considering establishing CM4K as a Kenyan NGO, so that Kenyans might be and shape the change they want to be.
We are currently raising money for this much needed community radio station at Cham gi Wadu through the University of Brighton’s charitable status granted by the Charity Commission. We have set ourselves the target of raising £30,000 to build the studio in Cham gi Wadu and link it to the nearly completed studio at the University of Rongo. This willenable outreach learnng and development activities to be incorporated into the curriculum so that media and communication studies students at Rongo might collaborate with our community partners in Cham gi Wadu in a way that leads to sustainable community radio for meaningful social change. So far since restarting our efforts students from the School of Art & Media have raised around £2.3K (not including gift aid). If you would like to support our efforts then please visit our Just Giving page.
All monies raised go to making this project a reality. Student field-trips are completely self-financed, & participating students are required to fund their flights to Kenya.
Working closely with local communities and community partners, students contribute to and learn about local community cultures by exchanging knowledge and sharing skills. They also contribute to community development by collaborating in the planning and implementation of fundraising activities and training workshops. Monies raised by students provide community projects with media equipemnt and an extensive ‘training the trainer’s’ programme, in which community participants develop the capacity to utilise media technologies in ways that meet community needs.