Professional development brings Danish, Gambian journalists together

The Danish guild of IFAJ and Network of Agricultural Communicators (NAC) and West African country The Gambia are starting up a joint project for training Gambian agri-journalists at 12 radio stations during the next two years.

The project is financed by 500,000 DKK (66,000 Euro), granted last week by a Danish government fund for NGO-projects in the third world.

Ambitious project
NAC and the Danish guild – Danish Food and Agricultural Journalists (DFAJ) – have previous accomplished common activities in two minor projects, but the new project is far more ambitious.

24 uneducated grassroots-journalists from 10 community radio stations and 2 commercial radio stations will, over a year and a half, receive training to make better programs for farmers, and each of the participating radio stations will be supplied with a recorder and a computer for editing programs.

Training of trainers
Voluntary working members of DFAJ and resource persons from NAC will run four week-long training sessions in The Gambia with half a year between each session. At these sessions one of the main activities will be training of trainers where the Danes and the Gambian resource persons will train members of NAC to be trainers for the 24 grassroots journalists.

Between the six-monthly sessions the 24 journalists will once a month be trained in clusters around the country by the members of NAC who have received training of trainers at the sessions.

Radio is most important media
Radio is the most important source for news and information for Gambian farmers of whom a majority live in poverty and many are illiterate.

The local radio stations have a desire to make programs about farming and to provide their listeners with useful knowledge and ideas, but in general they lack resources in term of education, journalistic skills and equipment to make the programs they want to. Hopefully they will be able to move forward with help from the new project.

Per Henrik Hansen, Denmark, ph(at)perhenrik.dk

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