Next steps
 

MMW began in 2010 with the formation of a small group of women in Africa, the U.S., and Europe dedicated to the idea of finding a cost-effective replacement for radio in reaching the “last mile” of female listeners in rural areas of Africa, especially those living in crisis and post-conflict areas beyond the reach of roads and electricity. We registered in Sierra Leone and also in the U.S. as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.  Our first project was launched in early 2013 and was staffed in Sierra Leone by a Project Coordinator and three trained professional journalists (with two reserves)

Our journalists used Mobile Production Units (MPU) to produce ten-minute radio-styled broadcasts and delivered a new program every week to five Listening Centers they set up in their region.  Women and girls could visit free of charge to listen and give feedback to the “Focal Point” who offered the these weekly broadcasts at the Listening Centers, which were located at community centers, Court barry’s, clinics, hospitals and schools. The resulting information network created a useful means for women and girls to be informed on a variety of relevant topics, and to make their views and interests known concerning additional topics they wanted their journalist to cover. A comprehensive evaluation was undertaken of the performances of the three journalists and 15 Listening Centers after twelve months, and a second project concept was developed, taking into account the outcome of the evaluation and the constraints on travel and public gatherings imposed by Ebola virus disease outbreak which was just starting in Sierra Leone.

Our second project began in the fall of 2014 with the understanding that access to information is crucial to the fight against the Ebola virus disease. The right information, at the right time, through the right channels, can save families, livelihoods and lives. To keep our journalists and listeners safe, we changed the way we distribute programmes to our networks. Our journalists continue to produce original ten-minute audio programs in multiple languages every week as they did in our first project, but we now use listener-based distributor networks rather than listening centers to broadcast our content.  Our new networks receive weekly programs on the Ebola virus disease, as well as women-oriented programming regarding health, education, and legal rights.

The MMW Team in Sierra Leone


Top row:  Project Coordinator Victoria Nicol and Senior Journalists Alinah Kallon and Ndeamoh Mansaray.  Bottom row:  Journalists Victoria Bernard, Mariama Khai Fournah, Bintu Conteh.

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