World Association for Christian Communication (WACC)

The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) is an international organization that promotes communication as a basic human right, essential to people's dignity and community. Rooted in Christian faith, WACC works with all those denied the right to communicate because of status, identity, or gender. It advocates full access to information and communication, and promotes open and diverse media. WACC strengthens networks of communicators to advance peace, understanding and justice.
Dec 19, 2012

Persuading people to think about national unity and peace

Radio Shalom continues to make progress. We have completed about 65% of the installation work and we are now at the stage of registering the radio as a Company limited by guarantee with the office of the Administration General. This is necessary in order to meet the requirement of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) for the allocation for the radio frequency by National Telecommunication (NATCOM) the agency responsible for the allocation of frequency to radio and TV stations in Sierra Leone.

Radio Shalom will soon be disseminating messages for peace consolidation and national cohesion. This is significant and relevant to the Sierra Leonean situation as the country is divided along political, ethnic and regional lines after eleven years of civil conflict.

This peace radio station will seek to bring people to think as part of a nation create a forum to discuss national unity and peace, a public sphere for critical debate for conflict management, promotion of the rule of law, equity and good governance.  The station will act as a catalyst for change in society through its education and information programmes. Special attention will be placed on vulnerable groups in society:

1. Women Programmes for marginalised women/women affected by the war and the underprivileged will require advocacy for women issues on a broader framework of peace education.

2. Youth Programmes for marginalised youth/youth affected by the war will advocate for youth empowerment within the broader framework of peace education.

3. Children's programmes for marginalised children, children affected by the war will require advocacy for children within a broader framework of peace education.

The staff of Radio Shalom is greatly looking forward to meeting these challenges and is immensely grateful for the support of people and communities from all over the world. Thank you!

Nov 23, 2012

Sepik River communities need a formal association to communicate their concerns

Sepik River region residents (photo:SWMI)
Sepik River region residents (photo:SWMI)

The follow-up work to the baseline study undertaken since the beginning of 2012 has continued at a slower pace than expected given the complications and obstacles of travel in the area. As with the river communities along the Mid Sepik the main form of transport is by river. Part of the follow-up work was to extend the fact finding survey to the Lower Sepik area, which involves working closely and at length with local community leaders.

Despite the difficulties in reaching some of the areas and the lack of an adequate communications infrastructure, there is a positive sense among the villagers who feel that the formation of a formal association to represent the interest of the river communities is highly appropriate. This would be the best way to communicate the opinions, concerns and hopes of the local people whose lives and livelihoods are being affected by mining interests in the region.

Sep 25, 2012

Installation of Radio Shalom nearly complete

Over the last few months much work has been accomplished, although there is more to do before resuming regular broadcasting. Among the main achievements are:

  1. Purchase of all equipment needed from a reputable firm in the Netherlands.
  2. Customs clearing of all equipment purchased.
  3. Established a volunteer task force of professionals with radio and broadcast experience.
  4. Received commitment from the CCSL (Council of Churches in Sierra Leone) member communions to give financial support to Radio Shalom (via purchase of “annual shares” and a “one time gift”)
  5. Broadcast studio established at CCSL premises. This includes soundproofing and the studio testing of all equipment by our volunteer engineers.
  6. Signed an Article of Association and Memorandum with Master and Registrar Office in August related to our purpose, rights and responsibilities. This is needed to meet the application requirements prior to being assigned a radio frequency. We expect to be assigned the frequency before the end of September 2012 as per Independent Media Commission ( IMC) schedule.
  7. Programs have been designed dealing with peace and security, religious discussions among faith leaders dealing with elections and civic responsibilities, women’s issues (health, reproductive health, women’s rights), panel discussions and “call in” sessions regarding road safety, family relationships and dynamics, youth issues (role in nation building, participation in development, education) etc.

 In the meantime, we are constructing tables / shelves / and other studio furniture for proper placement of the broadcast equipment; installing an air conditioning unit in the broadcast studio; setting up both antennae required – one at the broadcast studio in the CCSL office and the other at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation tower in Leicester Peak in Freetown.

Current challenges include generating further funding to enable us to complete the installations as well as selling advertising to support regular operational costs (electricity – fuel for generator, stationary supplies, regular maintenance of the equipment).

While we regard this as a unique opportunity to strengthen and broaden the ministry and prophetic voice of the CCSL, it has been a struggle. Payment of Customs Fees related to the importation of the equipment was a challenge. Faith-based organizations used to be exempted but that privilege no longer exists. Supervision of and reliance on a volunteer task force and juggling time schedules to accommodate them in light of the fact that we want to be “on line” for the elections (mid November 2012) has also been challenging. However, Radio Shalom is on the right track thanks to massive support and goodwill.