Marovo Learning Network and Community Media
This small pilot is part of the Health Learning Programme underway in Isabel Province, Solomon Islands. This is part of COL's Healthy Communities Programme.
As a way of helping to extend the model to other provinces of Solomon Islands, the current programme includes a small activity at Patukae Community College, Marovo Lagoon, in Western Province. With funding from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), a community FM radio station is to be added to an existing ICT programme involving a VSAT (under SPC's Rural Internet Connectivity Programme), a wide area Wi-Fi network connecting other communities, schools and clinics, and the Ministry of Education's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) country trials.
SPC is a key partner in this activity. SPC
Community Radio joined to Broadband
The FM station will be located at Patukae College and will enjoy broadband Internet, via the RICS installation (see pictures in the gallery). The transmitter will be located on the peak of a nearby island where the main Wi-Fi mast is located, with the signal being carried by the Wi-Fi. This will provide excellent coverage over a wide area.
The broadband access will allow sharing of audio content and easy access to audio content from elsewhere, including educational and government information produced in Honiara.
Awareness workshop, Patukae College December 16th, 2009
Patukae College is a combined primary and secondary school, and the site of the following:
- A low-cost VSAT system, being a Solomon Islands pilot site for SPC's Rural Internet Connectivity System (RICS)
- A Wi-Fi network linking the VSAT with other schools, clinics and communities and supported by local private sector
- Trials of the Solomon Islands OLPC country programme
The "Marovo Learning Network" is organised through a community committee, including representatives of the schools, communities, private sector partners and different groups within the communities including health, education, church, women, youths, etc.
SPC is now to add a 30W FM broadcasting station. This will be established as community radio.
As a way of transferring skills and a model for participatory content development from the on-going programme in Isabel Province, a one-day workshop was arranged on the 16th December 2009. About 50 people of all ages attended.
The objectives of the workshop were to brief people from all the communities participating in Marovo Learning Network on the concepts and principles of community radio, and participatory development of educational radio programmes, using the Isabel programme as an example.
|Rukutu Village||Buleani Village||Patukae CHS||Gepae Village||Chubikopi Village||Chea village|
Rev. Bulaid Leto
Mrs. Flory Leto
Mr. Roylee Kanileen
Mr. Donald Lipu
Mr. Galiver Jiru
Mrs. paolyn Lipu
Mrs. Hezilyn Kimi
Mr. Philip Kimi
Mr. Rolland Cook
Mr. Silas Rura
Mr. Isaka Esau
Mr. Kitchener Bird
Mr. Billy ofotalau
Mrs. Natilie Bird
Mrs. Gaelyn Vaqara
Mrs. Marjie Ofotalau
Miss Gwen Davis
Mrs. Vaolyn Pianga
Mr. Tausia Cook
Mr. Ezekiel Simata
Mr. John Lilivae
Mr. Silas Anisi
Mr. Christopher Whitney
Mrs. Verina Cook
Miss Rhoda Ivaio
Mrs. Dima Bird
Mrs. Delah Hagety
Mr. Alastair Aleve
Miss Marvin Hape
Mr. Janck Gesopitu
Mrs. Relma Gesopitu
Mr. Ogasa Tuti
Mr. Mathew Davi
Mrs. Nancy Davi
Mrs. Linda Koni
Mr. Kilipi Manu
Mr. Thomas Kivo
Mrs. Linda Kavinga
Mr. Ilona Belavaqara
Mr. Loyd Nonga
Mr. Lelipi Hite
Chief. Alrick Jimuru
Mr. Silver Dion
Also 26 children attended the meeting.
- Tea and refreshments
- Presentation by David Leeming
- "What is Community Radio"; Principles of community media
- Background to the Isabel Health Learning Programme
- Practical session
- Feedback and reactions, during refreshments
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3|
|Suggested name: Tavarina FM (Meaning “here and now FM”)|| Suggested name: Marovo Buki FM
(Meaning “Marovo Conch Shell FM")
| Suggested name: Ulusage Community FM
(meaning – Ulusage is name for central Marovo from Viru to Gatokae)
| Ideas for content:
| Ideas for content:
| Ideas for content:
(1) Youth related
Feedback from the whole group
The practical session has shown that the group understood the local and participatory nature of community radio, and they were very imaginative in suggesting topics for radio programmes.
Demand is high for programmes about health issues, customs and traditions, and especially environmental issues (Marovo is in an area once nominated as a World Heritage site but has since been subject to problems from natural resource extraction, so awareness is high).
During the final feedback session, individuals representing different groups gave their reactions and remarks.
In particular, the women's representative expressed hope that the community radio would give women a voice to speak out against lack of equality. The teacher's representaive expressed enthusiasm about the potential for having educational radio, and with children participating in the radio programmes.
Brian Bird, Principal, suggested that the Wi-Fi links to nearby communities and Cheara Clinic, would allow audio content to be recorded and sent over the Wi-Fi for broadcasting, and even the possibility of live link-ups to the radio station. In this way he thought all the communities could be actively participating in the production of radio programmes. It was thought that as in Isabel, Youth groups will be a feature, providing a creative energy and especially for audio drama.
Brian also noted for the Chiefs that the project could proceed only with the agreement of all the landowners.