It hasn’t been three years, has it?
The whole of this week we are doing community asset mapping. As CM4K we are trying to look at the assets that the Cham Gi Wadu community possesses, more so the assets that can be used in setting up and running the community radio station. The goal is to have a self-sustaining radio station and that is why asset mapping is important.
This is our first day in the field this year and I am excited. It is always a pleasure to visit Cham Gi Wadu. The community is always eager to see us. Their eyes are always full of love and appreciation that makes my heart swell but there is also huge expectation in their eyes that makes me get scared of how much they expect from us. Although CM4K is helping set up the community radio station, it is the community who will be running it. So it’s CM4K who expects much from the community. It is their hard work, input and dedication that will make this initiative a success. It is because of this that we started looking at the assets that the community possess. Assets can range from knowledge to infrastructure.
Our photography group just like the other groups – audio and video – teaches community members how to use some of the digital equipment. Our aim is not to make professionals out of them in a day but first to familiarize them with the equipment they will be dealing with when the radio station starts to operate. This is part of participatory research where the community is actively involved in the project.
There are community members already assembled at the Divisional Officer grounds waiting for us. After a brief welcome from the area chief we start interacting with the community members. After taking a few pics of the chief I step out to find Oliver and Halima teaching a group of community members how to use the voice recorder. The community members seem eager to learn, I hope they remembered to switch it on. I remember recording a thirty minute speech only to realize I hadn’t switched on that thing. From that day I kind of developed a phobia for voice recorders. Too risky!
I ask Madam Pamela Wasonga if she wants to learn how to use a digital camera. She excitedly agrees. Mercy from the Video group joins me and we start teaching her about the basics. In a few seconds we are joined by three more members of the community who also want to learn. When she takes her first picture they all clap and ululate. I might be wrong, but these women are all over 50 years old but the excitement they have in learning a new trick is like a kid getting that present she is always nagging her parents for. They take turns in taking pictures and I am amazed by the happiness this camera is creating on these women. I leave Mercy with the community members and go to find Hafsah and Japhet. I want them to witness this magic too.
Omware Mixed Secondary School is our next stop. The Principal of the school says we should talk to the members of the journalism club. But then something happens, almost half of the school says they are interested in Media and so he has no option but let the whole school interact with CM4K members. I know you heard this story before about the girl who became a professional photographer in a few minutes and started teaching the other students. If you haven’t please check my previous blog post. This was my proudest moment as a CM4K member. We even joke with Japhet that the students took better pictures than we usually do. To see such eagerness among the kids to learn was encouraging. If everyone is eager to learn like the students and the women we taught earlier then this radio station will be a success.
There are many factors that will make this initiative a success. Everyone willing can help this initiative in a way and we would greatly appreciate. Are you willing to be a part of the group that will bring voice to the voiceless in Cham Gi Wadu?