Radio Eastern Congo: information is emergency aid
When you live in the middle of extreme violence and war, reliable information can save your life. In Eastern Congo, the fighting continues. Reliable information on the latest developments can prevent you from accidentally walking into the frontlines of fighting rebel groups. In Eastern Congo, most people in the rural areas and refugee camps depend on radio as their source of information, to know what goes on and to report atrocities. That is why, in Eastern Congo, Free Press Unlimited works on intensifying community radio to contribute to peace and reconciliation.
Community radio plays an important part in Congo. Most people in the rural areas and refugee camps of the largest country in Central Africa depend on radio for their information due to illiteracy and lack of electricity. Moreover, the small local radio stations also bring news from outside the capital of Kinshasa as opposed to the mainstream media.
Free Press Unlimited provides local radio stations with better digital recorders and new telephone equipment. The journalists use this to give a voice to the people in the refugee camps, people who are at risk of being neglected if they do not have a chance to stand up for themselves.
Dialogue triumphs over lack of understanding
Free Press Unlimited also educates local journalists on peace journalism. By helping to start a dialogue and avoid hate speech, Free Press Unlimited wants to enable local radio stations to contribute to the peace process in Eastern Congo. The debating programmes and interactive discussion programmes are often the only occasions where rivalling parties engage in conversation. This is incredibly important in a country where lack of understanding is an important source of armed conflicts.