Community Media/Marovo

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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:

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

Mr.Brian Bird

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.


  1. Tea and refreshments
  2. Presentation by David Leeming
    • "What is Community Radio"; Principles of community media
    • Background to the Isabel Health Learning Programme
  3. Lunch
    • Practical session
    • Feedback and reactions, during refreshments

Practical Session

Icon activity.jpg

As a way of reinforcing what they had learned from the morning's session, the participants were divided into 3 groups and given two tasks:

  • What would you like your community radio station to broadcast? Discuss and suggest ideas for educational and other radio programmes
  • Suggest a name for the radio station

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:
  • Health programs in 3 important areas (mental, physical and social health)
  • Women, Youth, Children's issues.
  • Church
  • Environment
  • Custom and Culture
  • Livlihood
  • Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Education – school programmes
  • Tourism
  • Entertainment (locally made)
  • Sport
  • Custom stories
  • Riddles
  • Quiz
  • Government and politics
  • News, local, provincial, national, international
  • Requests

Special ideas:

  • Interview project officers whenever any development activity takes place, to inform people about those projects
  • Link to environment, marine biodiversity and such projects

Ideas for content:
  • Custom awareness
  • Environment
  • Local news
  • Youth programs
  • Church programs
  • School programs
  • World news relay
  • Custom stories
  • Riddle
  • Music
  • Talk back show
  • Interview program
  • Promotions
  • Drama
  • Farming corner
  • Sport
  • Marketing report
  • Shipping information

Special ideas

  • Custom awareness is to highlight and reinforce the customs of Marovo

Ideas for content:

(1) Youth related

  • Social issues: Respect customs and traditions
  • Law and order: awareness by police
  • Youth development

(2) Culture

  • Traditional music
  • Custom stories

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.

  • Women
  • Men
  • Education
  • Church
  • Chiefs

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.