2021-22 was another remarkable year — for the world at large, and the work of Farm Radio International.
We are proud to announce a renewed statement of values to guide our work. It is the result of an intensive effort involving board, staff and advisors in Africa. It puts a commitment to “communication justice” at the centre — a concept which both acknowledges that accessing and imparting information is a right, and that this right is not equally available to all. It’s this lens of communication justice that colours our work.
This year, Farm Radio experienced growth in many areas, including the number of radio stations we supported, the number of hours of powerful radio services that hit the airwaves, and the type and quality of services we offered. We increased our efforts to help communities cope with and recover from crises and insecurity. We started — and completed — our largest ever project: RECOVER. This project helped rural communities recover from the impact of COVID-19 and improve their farming practices and livelihoods. We also turned our attention to girls’ education in Mali, helping our radio partners produce and air exciting programs that encourage and support families in sending their daughters to school, despite challenging times.
Radio is often thought of as a one-way communication tool. Used in combination with mobile phones, however, it can also bring rural voices and issues to a wide audience, including policy makers. With this in mind, we offered a new and unique type of programming in 2021: On Air Dialogues. We used these dialogues to bring the voices of remote rural communities to global conversations about food systems during the UN’s Food Systems Summit.
For more than 40 years, we have supported a network of radio broadcasters as they strive to provide their listeners with better and more relevant radio programs. Not only did our network grow to more than 1,200 radio stations this year, but we developed new ways of engaging network members in planning and airing radio broadcasts about topics like COVID-19 and improved farming practices, and carefully assessing the impact of their programming.
We are grateful and humbled, as always, by the remarkable support that we received from the individual donors and organizations that partner with us. If you are among them, thank you! Your involvement in this work is deeply appreciated.