“Radio can bring people together”

“Radio can bring people together”

Farm Radio International broadcast partner, Lydia Ajono, has been involved with the Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) since it began in 1999. She has worked with community radio for many years. When she left high school, she joined a Radio Netherlands project in northern Ghana. Since then, she has been to the Netherlands for training, worked with the national media in Ghana, and been involved in international community radio projects.

 

She spoke with Farm Radio International from Bolgatanga, in northern Ghana. She was on her way to train some radio producers in programming. Like a radio professional, she described the scene before her with little prompting:

 

“I am standing on the edge of the market in Bolgatanga, next to some stalls selling woven baskets. It is quite noisy and there are donkeys in the market.”

 

Ms. Ajono works as a trainer with the Ghana Community Radio Network. There are two aspects to her role. First, she works with communities, using participatory methods to help them understand what community radio is, how to use it, and how to tune in and participate. She also trains staff on production and programming skills. She works with station staff, showing them how to research and develop programs. She passes on key skills, such as the story-based approach, which she learned through her involvement Farm Radio International’s AFRRI – the African Farm Radio Research Initiative.

 

There are currently 10 fully operational community radio stations in GCRN. Ms. Ajono says that 12 more are preparing to go on air, from all over Ghana. She has also been able to share her experiences with other African countries. In 2008, she travelled to Sudan to give training in support of a community radio network being set up in Southern Sudan. GCRN also has contacts with and supports community radio in Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda and Kenya. The Network accomplishes all this with a secretariat of five people and 10 volunteers.

 

Ms. Ajono wrote an award-winning script for our recent scriptwriting competition on smallholder innovation. Her script tells the story of a woman farmer who grows henna. As part of her prize, Ms. Ajono will take a trip to Argentina later this year to attend the tenth World Assembly of Community Radio Broadcasters, sponsored by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).

 

Radio is a very important tool that can challenge a community’s own development agenda. It is part of our cultural development and language, as it reflects people’s lives and identities. Radio can bring people together, says Ms. Ajono.

 

Click here to read Ms. Ajono’s award-winning script.

9 Comments On This Topic
  1. Nancy Cosway
    on Aug 16th at 1:04 pm

    Congrats. I have known lydia and worked with her since 1986. She has great ideas and is able to involve community members with respect and confidence. I am happy to see she is moving forward and having a greater impact

    Reply
  2. Klaus Moller-Jorgensen
    on Sep 29th at 8:44 pm

    Lydia is hard working and very idealistic – a great eksperience working together with her in Dalun, Northern Ghana, for three months i 2008.
    Klaus, Danish National Radio

    Reply
  3. Tessa
    on Sep 30th at 3:21 pm

    Lydia, congratulations! I am so happy for you. best wishes always Tessa

    Reply
  4. Patti
    on Oct 9th at 7:46 pm

    So where is our Lydia at the moment? Lydia, I am in Accra and it would be nice to hear from you soon.

    Reply
  5. Lydia ajono
    on Oct 14th at 12:42 pm

    Dear friends,
    It is with joy and love I feel for you all for sending those wonderful comments about me.
    I appreciate and want you all to know that I always remember those great times at the rural villages in Ghana.
    Your inspirations have been one of the moving force in my carreer.
    where I am? I am still working supporting rural communities to share their stories on radio. I travel regularly to communities in Tamale in Northern region and Bolgatanga in Upper east region. right now I am working on a story on mental health.

    Lydia

    Reply
  6. Farm Radio International
    on Oct 15th at 6:03 pm

    Keep up all of the great work Lydia!

    Reply
  7. Bernard Boadi
    on Dec 8th at 2:47 am

    My parents’ experience as unrecognised with other farmers for their efforts due to colonial means of reaching out to local farmers (no blame for colonialst – they tried). left me encouraged when I discovered Ms Ajono and her “Farm Radio” project in Northern Ghana. I wish Mama and Papa were alive today. My joy is that there will always be farmers to use Ms. Ajono’s help: Farm radio that speaks a language you understand, in a way you enjoy the message, and the right crop to grow so Africa will feed itself like it used to be. Not hungry Africa!

    Thank you Lydia and others on same route for Africa!

    Reply
  8. Bernard Boadi
    on Dec 8th at 2:48 am

    My parents’ experience as unrecognised with other farmers for their efforts due to colonial means of reaching out to local farmers (no blame for colonialst – they tried). left me encouraged when I discovered Ms Ajono and her “Farm Radio” project in Northern Ghana. I wish Mama and Papa were alive today. My joy is that there will always be farmers to use Ms. Ajono’s help: Farm radio that speaks a language you understand, in a way you enjoy the message, and the right crop to grow so Africa will feed itself like it used to be. Not hungry Africa!

    Thank you Lydia and others on same route for Africa! Thanks, SIMLI RADIO

    Reply
    • brenda
      on Dec 8th at 4:33 pm

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your parent’s experience as farmers. It is our belief that with the right and appropriate information and the ability for small-scale farmers to share their knowledge, farmers can increase their food security. We are so glad that you have discovered Ms. Ajono’s radio program!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *