MADRE’s Peruvian partner organization CHIRAPAQ, who run the Sapinchikmanta (Voices for Justice) weekly radio program for Indigenous Peoples and by Indigenous Peoples, recently released a radio clip from an interview with Pedro Rivera Cea, an expert in food sovereignty and security. In the clip, Mr. Rivera Cea discusses the importance of considering Indigenous knowledge as a means to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change. The goal of the Sapinchikmanta program is to use radio to share important information on health, domestic violence, women’s political participation, food security, climate change and more to geographically isolated Indigenous communities in Peru.
Thank you for your support of this project! Because of you, rural Indigenous women and men are developing innovative new means to share knowledge, disseminate information to their community and conduct health and education campaigns.
Thank you for your support of Sapinchikmanta (or Voices for Justice), an Indigenous radio program in Peru! MADRE is pleased to report that Sapinchikmanta continues to grow.
Sapinchikmanta broadcasts programs that empower Indigenous women and raise awareness on human rights issues. These Quechua communicators are able to transmit their ideas, feelings and world views. They do this without renouncing their ancestral systems of communication.
Currently, Sapinchikmanta is working to strengthen the capacity of those in leadership positions. Our partners there are also conducting trainings on production and broadcasting. They are also participating in an exchange, where each participating radio station observes and learns from the lessons and strategies of others.
Sapinchikmanta is also working towards its ultimate goal: forming a National Indigenous Communication System. In this way, different radio stations can more effectively share strategies and form partnerships. They will be able to collectively consolidate their work in areas from communication to advocacy.
Their work has already contributed to the empowerment of participants and community members. Yene Bellido Béjar, President of the Network of Indigenous Quechua Broadcasters of Ayacucho, expressed this sentiment, “When we use the microphone, we are making use of the power to express ourselves. We do this working collectively, using the radio as tool in defense of our rights.”
Tarcila Rivera Zea is an inspiring activist for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and President of MADRE’s Peruvian sister organization CHIRAPAQ.
Just this week, she sat down with Natalia Caruso, MADRE’s Program Director, to discuss the future of the Sapinchikmanta (Voices for Justice) Radio Project.
Tarcila reminded us of the importance of finding a way to communicate. Indigenous communities are often not represented in mainstream Peruvian media, and Indigenous women are especially marginalized.
The Sapinchikmanta community radio series is, as Tarcila explains, the “main medium of communication through which Indigenous women who speak Quechua can express themselves to their sisters in the region.”
She went on to say, “The content of this series combines practical and important information on women’s rights and the right to live free of violence, as well as music and songs from their own culture and their own language.” The radio series has acquired a large following of listeners who rely on the program as their principal source of information.
Thank you for your generous support of this project! Not only can CHIRAPAQ continue to host the Sapinchikmanta series, but they also offer training to Indigenous broadcasters. Program participants continue to advocate for their collective rights and for more culturally diverse national radio programming, including programs with a gender focus.
As the President of the Ayacucho Network of Quechua Indigenous Communicators, of which CHIRAPAQ is a member, stated, “When we use the microphone, we are making use of a power to express ourselves and we do it collectively, using the radio as a tool to defend our rights.”
Recently, Doris Loayza, an MA Candidate at New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies visited MADRE’s sister organization CHIRAPAQ in Peru. While there, she learned more about the MADRE-supported “Voices for Justice” radio program with Indigenous Peoples. She recently wrote about her trip in a blog post on CHIRAPAQ’s website. As supporters of this project, we’d like to share a short excerpt with you now:
“I was especially impressed by the wonderful group of producers in Huanta, how enthusiastic, well-organized and open they were with me, and the pride they have for their Quechua language and roots...it is the most important part of their identity. And that is the reason why Quechua radio is still an important part of life in Andean towns…”
Thank you for your continued support of this important program. With your backing, Voices for Justice allows rural Indigenous women to develop an innovative new means to share knowledge and disseminate information to their communities, important steps in promoting their culture and demanding their rights.
This past month, our sister organization CHIRAPAQ released Nuestras Voces al Infinito, a short film exploring the lives of two Indigenous women who are making a difference in their communities as radio broadcasters for Voice for Justice. Leónidas is a sheep herder from a remote community in the Andean region of Peru. Paquita studies early childhood education at university and is from a Shipibo community in the Peruvian Amazon.
Leónidas starts her day at dawn, cooking soup and potatoes for her family. After her daily work she goes to the shack, which serves as a radio station, and begins her broadcast. Since becoming involved with Voices for Justice, her commitment has never wavered. She firmly believes in the importance of communication for Indigenous Peoples and has dreams for her future and that of her community. Leónidas hopes that one day her family will be able to move to a nicer, cleaner community, and that younger generations will continue to speak Quechua and maintain the cultural traditions of their ancestors.
When Paquita was first offered the chance to participate in the weekly radio series, she was unsure of what to say. Today, she contributes with confidence, sharing lessons learned from her classes at the university and speaking with pride about Shipibo culture and other topics of interest to her community back home.
The radio program has benefited not only volunteer broadcasters like Leónidas and Paquita, but their listeners as well. Parents report that their children are listening and learning, and in the words of Paquita, “today, I see many youths that are no longer marginalized or ashamed, because they have understood that who one is and how one lives is something that no one will ever be able to take away”. The voices of these women “flow like rivers and move with the wind…rising from Mother Earth…they are one with the universe”.
Their voices are infinite, and infinitely powerful.
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