08 Apr Communication Saves Lives: WACC Rapid Response Fund for Community Media
In times of crisis, information saves lives. In the response to Covid-19, we see how vital it is to get accurate and trusted messages to people so that they know what they need to do and where they can get help when they need it.
For many communities however, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable, such as Indigenous communities, refugees, and people living in rural poverty, their lack of access to mainstream media and information sources in their languages increases their vulnerability. WACC works with many grassroots community media partners who have established channels and languages to get messages to their communities fast – but they need support. WACC’s fund will enable them to immediately respond to Covid-19, and will enable us to support local media fast in the event of future outbreaks or natural disasters.
Description of Current Needs
WACC has received urgent requests for support from its community media partners in the global South, especially community radio networks working in rural and hard-to-reach areas, to prepare programmes on the Covid-19 response in local and Indigenous languages appropriate for their specific context.
We would like to positively respond to these and enable existing community partners to expand their coverage as well. Our current network includes 39 community radio partners – many of them attached to hundreds of indigenous and community radio stations working in local languages. Our network also includes over 40 active civil society and faith-based groups working with marginalized populations, including migrants and refugees, who are under increasing vulnerability due to restrictions on movement and assistance, discrimination, poverty, and language barriers.
We are aware that in the current crisis situation, accurate information has to come from trustworthy communication platforms in languages and descriptions that local communities can clearly understand.
Our community partners work closely with their local community and generate regular feedback and use official sources of information (UN agencies, government and scientific advice).
WACC would like to facilitate 10-15 small project grants to enable emergency communication on Covid-19 to grassroots communities. Grants will be made to existing partners who can immediate implement their projects based on concise applications. Grants will cover items such as:
- Translation into local languages
- Fees related to broadcast time, internet access, airwaves.
- Fees related to web and social media management
- Stipends for community media staff and journalists
- Graphic design of specific Covid-19 materials
- Equipment and printing.
Stories of community media response to the Covid-19 pandemic:
WACC Global is an international non-profit organization that promotes communication as a basic human right. We work with people of all faiths and none to enable people and communities to be seen and heard.
WACC supports grassroots, community groups and marginalized populations to help them build their communication capacity; educate youth, women, and members of vulnerable groups as citizen journalists; conduct local communication and media research; and advocate for accurate and fair representation in news media.
WACC advocates internationally for freedom of expression, freedom of the press, media diversity, the right to privacy, gender equality, linguistic rights, and others among the full range of communication rights. We have a comprehensive approach, grounded on grassroots experience and perspectives as well as global developments.