This story comes to Internews via Carl, a college journalism student in Tacloban, the Philippines, where Internews has launched Radio Bakdaw in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
Hearing stories like this one…when news and information has the power to connect people and communities and solve problems--both big and small, is so powerful. I can’t express enough how grateful we are to donors like you who understand the important role information plays, particularly to those who are facing hardship in the aftermath of a disaster.
Published January 15, 2013
Moving around had become quite a challenge for Loring since the typhoon had wrecked her wheelchair. Before, she was working as a mobile phone reloader, but the loss of her wheelchair had kept her bedridden.
When she heard about the free services offered by Radyo Bakdaw (“Rise”) through her neighbor’s radio, Loring sent a text message to the station.
After the radio station aired her story, a kind-hearted listener named Sonny decided to contact the radio station.
“I heard someone was in need of a wheelchair and so I remembered my mother who passed away months ago. I stored the wheelchair at the back of our house and just kept it there. It was really in good condition but damaged a little bit because of Yolanda (Haiyan). I heard it on the radio and you know, I really wanted to help,” said Sonny.
On December 19, 2013 the wheelchair was handed over to Loring.
“It was clear she was very happy because she could go back to work and her nanny will be freed from carrying her around the house,” said Rica, who delivered the wheelchair.
Having heard of Loring's story, four more people sent their requests to Radyo Bakdaw also pleading for new wheelchairs. The contact details were forwarded by the radio staff to Handicap International, an NGO based in Tacloban, who promised to follow up on it.
This moving story is just one illustration of the power radio has had since Typhoon Haiyan touched down last November.
As you may well know, many towns and cities in Eastern Samar experienced a complete information black out, without functioning phone lines, TV, newspapers or radio. Currently Radyo Bakdaw is the only radio station on the FM-band and the only media-house permanently based in the region. Today, Radyo Bakdaw receives around 300-500 text messages a day (with peaks of over 1200 texts). Some texts are practical questions about ongoing relief operations in the region, some ventilate frustration and others again show appreciation or a request to play a favorite song.
Based on these questions from listeners, Radyo Bakdaw looks for much needed answers and useful information among the international agencies and local government, collected and presented by local presenters who, with support from Internews, have transformed themselves into “humanitarian reporters”(UNOCHA)
Drawing of the Radio Bakdaw team, Niko, Age 12