Using airwaves to reach where we cannot go ourselves
Project Status: Active
Start Date: Dec 2019
End Date: Dec 2023
Countries: Sierra Leone
Leveraging radio to inform, transform, & build hope
One of the challenges in addressing systemic poverty and inequality is the limitation of not being able to be everywhere. Radio, however, enables community-led outreach and programming to extend right into the privacy of people’s homes or into their commutes and travels, to build hope and promote a better way of living that audiences can choose to tune into at will.
Radio can also be a powerful voice for reducing discrimination against minorities as well as persons living with disabilities and other marginalized groups.
That’s why World Hope is launching a Christian radio station based in the center of Sierra Leone. Called “Voice of Salvation,” the station will provide faith-based content while leveraging paid commercial programming to become self-sustaining and utilizing the Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media’ (GSIM). The station will also serve as a regional resource for reaching the rural communities and several surrounding cities with important information and messaging related to anti-human trafficking or gender-based violence, health and hygiene, diversity and inclusion, and more.
According to the United Nations, radio is “a low-cost medium specifically suited to reaching remote communities and vulnerable people, offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. It also plays a crucial role in emergency communication and disaster relief.”
To establish a sustainable, Christian radio station within three years that has an audience reach of 750,000
- Opportunities will be available for anti-trafficking and anti-gender-based violence messages to be aired and received in hard-to-reach communities
- Promotion of peace, inclusion, and diversity through airtime
- Building of hope in rural communities
- The opportunity to teach best practices for sanitation and hygiene and health through airtime
Sources of Revenue
The sources of revenue for the station may include, but not be limited to:
- Sale of daily music request forms
- Programs sponsored to be on public broadcast
- Public service announcements and advertisements
- Promotional programs paid for by NGOs
It is expected that in the second and third year of operations, revenue from advertising, donations, and paid programming will increase by a substantial amount each year while expenditures remain relatively constant. By the end of year three, the Station should be primarily self-sustaining.
The Wesleyan Church will be responsible for the editorial and programming content of the Station as, after the initial three-year launch period, the station will belong to the church. The faith-based programming will provide messaging that promotes community development, education, and health.
WHI has been working with the Wesleyan Church in Sierra Leone for over 14 years in areas including education, community engagement and empowerment, child sponsorship, and health.
At the height of the Ebola outbreak, WHI collaborated and supported the Wesleyan Church through psychosocial training for the church and communities and through the distribution of food and non-food items and general awareness-raising about the disease.
How It Works
A new partnership with The Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone, the FM radio station will initially cover the whole of northern Sierra Leone. It will be upgraded to cover the whole country in the second year of operations.
Programming will be managed by an Executive Station Director and the station will house two recording studios.
A symbol of religious tolerance, unity and faith-based development, it will be set up as a sustainable, interdenominational radio station that promotes diversity, inclusion, and peace. It will build hope by producing and airing content that creates a society in which each and every person is celebrated as a unique and valued creation of God.