The Power of Radio: Finding Connection over the Airwaves

By A’Melody Lee Jacobi

February 12, 2021

Radio is over 110 years old. On #worldradioday we celebrate the importance of radio.

In This Article

  • Radio is still the most effective electronic medium in developing nations.
  • Local radio stations enable isolated communities get important information in a timely manner.
  • Radio help’s Heifer International connect with local communities.

Since the very first radio broadcasts 110 years ago, radio has been a consistent and important means of connecting, educating and entertaining the public.

Across the globe, local radio stations give isolated communities their own voice, in their own language. Local programs supported by Heifer International rely on these local community radio stations to share news, announcements, public health advisories and information about natural disasters and relief operations where necessary.

Radio is an affordable way for us to share important information with the people who need it most.

In honor of Unesco #worldradioday, we’re celebrating the value of this important medium to our work to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way.

Radio is also socially distant by design. During the COVID-19 pandemic, community radio stations have been recognized as an important tool for communicating about lockdowns, the value of hygiene and the effects of the pandemic on public health.

We’d like to share some of these stories to get the word out about the importance of radio and what it sounds like in some of the communities we work in.

Take a listen to Heifer International on the radio across the globe!

For instance in Kenya, the Hatching Hope project team used a radio story to inform communities of the importance of social distancing, handwashing and masking-up to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hatching Hope Kenya is a collaboration between Heifer International, Cargill and the Government of Kenya to improve incomes and nutrition through the power of poultry. Hatching Hope is part of a larger global initiative that aims to reach 100 million people by 2030 through a combination of direct support to poultry farmers and consumer-awareness campaigns promoting the nutritional benefits of meat and eggs. While the program is all about improving the nutrition and income of participants, they’re also getting the word out about the importance of good hygiene during the pandemic.

2020 was a difficult year, but the farmers of Nepal had reason to celebrate despite the pandemic – they made gains in the number and weight of goats they sold. In Nepal, the harvest festival of Dashain is celebrated for 15 days during the Hindu month of Ashwin (between September and October) from the bright moon until the full moon. It’s a time for family reunions, exchange of gifts and blessings, and elaborate worship rituals called pujas. Goats are an important part of the celebration. Cooperatives that partner with Heifer Nepal sold 107,904 goats for a total of nearly $13 million.

 Heifer Guatemala’s been very active working with women’s cooperatives to promote their activities in a number of different areas. Radio is used to let communities know about poultry raising training programs that they might be interested in joining, or how beneficial it is for children to eat eggs, so they grow strong and healthy. You’ll also hear a commercial for ladieswear made with Guatemalan textiles that are produced in a Heifer affiliated entrepreneurship program.

Radio is still relevant and it’s still an important part of Heifer International’s work.