One of the focuses of DW Akadamie's 18-month "Community Voices" project in Namibia is community media. Three young community radio producers talk about what they've been learning.
Maurley Hlangwane, Ethelbertus Tove Tibinyane and Charles Neels live in the Omaheke Region in eastern Namibia and work for the community radio station Radio Omaheke. They recently took part in a workshop on election coverage – one in a series of workshops DW Akademie is holding for community media.
What are your activities at Radio Omaheke?
Maurley: We're not on air at this point, so right now we're mainly involved in producing content.
Tove: We're hoping to go on air in a month or two and I'll be a presenter. But right now we're also undergoing training with DW Akademie and that's very helpful.
Charles: I'm still a volunteer but also involved in producing content and taking part in the trainings.
How did you become Radio Omahake's team for the "Community Voices" project?
Tove: Levi Katire is the station manager and asked if I was interested in taking part in DW Akademie's workshops. That's where Maurley, Charles and I came together.
What have you gained from the project?
Charles: I've learned how to write scripts, do production work and how to work with sound. I've also become more confident.
Maurley: I've learned how to work with different types of people, and that you can do more in the studio than just sit there and talk! I've also gained respect from others and learned how to respect myself.
Tove: I didn't know anything about radio or the media before I came here but with DW Akademie I've learned how to produce, write scripts, present and do interviews. I now also have a certificate, which not only empowers me but gives me credibility if I go on to work for a larger broadcaster.
How can the community benefit from the project over the long run?
Maurley: Here in the Omaheke Region people aren't always aware of issues like human rights or possible solutions to their problems, and we're learning more about these at the workshops. This way we can be there for people, and give them a chance to voice their own opinions. At the same time, the listeners are also there for us.
How can DW Akademie contribute to community media over the next 25 years?
Tove: It should keep doing what it's doing. I like the fact that the project is not about money or donations because money often gets misused. Instead I like the fact the project is based here on the ground and that the trainers come here in-person to show us the skills that we really need.
DW Akademie has been supporting media development in Namibia since the country's independence in 1990. “Community Voices”, for example, is a current DW Akademie project that works closely with community media in rural areas. Trainers are on location and offer consulting on sustainable media management as well as training and consulting in the fields of human rights and election reporting. These projects are financed by the European Union and Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.