This summer, four students of the Carleton University Journalism Program interned with Farm Radio International and their partners across three different sub-Saharan African countries (Malawi, Tanzania and Ghana). They are working with government and Ministries, radio stations or with Farm Radio International directly.
One student, Alex Butler, is working with Farm Radio International’s office in Arusha, Tanzania. She has been helping with the production of Farm Radio Weekly (FRW), our electronic news service which reaches over 2,000 African subscribers. Her work consists of conducting research for the publication as well as interviewing farmers and writing stories. Her first article was published in the June 25, 2012 issue of FRW.
In this first FRW story, Alex wrote about a farmer, Elisa Pallangyo, whom she met in the village of Maweni, 30 kilometres outside Arusha. Alex found out that Mr. Pallangyo has achieved great success on his small farm by intercropping maize with beans or peas. He has been able to achieve large yields all without using expensive fertilizers or pesticides. Mr. Pallangyo told Alex that he is very thankful for his farm’s success, because it has allowed him to put his children through school. To find out why intercropping the key to his success and how is he is now helping his community, read more:
Alex has recently earned her Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. While at Carleton, she specialized in reporting social issues and has a strong interest in international reporting which is why she applied to be an intern with Farm Radio International.
In a recent email exchange with Farm Radio staff in Ottawa, Alex wrote:
My experience at Farm Radio Tanzania has been fantastic. The FRI team in Tanzania has been so welcoming and the sense of community we have at the office is like nowhere I’ve ever worked before.
“In the short time I’ve been here, I have been able to learn a lot. The internship has given me the opportunity to use the skills I learned in journalism school and to really see the important role that media can play in development. It’s given me a stronger sense of the importance of what journalists do and how important it is for NGO’s like Farm Radio to exist. I’ve been able to see the results that come from promoting agricultural best-practices, and how necessary this is to ensure food security in Africa. Interviewing farmers about what they do and how they live has been some of the most rewarding work in my journalistic experience”.
I am also so impressed that Farm Radio puts such an emphasis on promoting women’s rights, maternal and child health, nutrition and environmental sustainability. At Farm Radio, I can feel that the stories we are writing really matter and I hope that I can continue to do this type of work when I get back to Canada. I’m very excited to take what I’ve learned here tell people back home about the work that FRI does.
Thank you for your dedication to your work Alex and we hope to see you around the Farm Radio offices in the future!