journalists

Community journalists working under the Empowerment for Life (E4L) Programme in the Northern Region have been commended for helping to bring to the fore concerns of their communities.

Mr Abdul-Jabaru Mohammed, Programme Manager of E4L Programme, said their exploits has helped to address some of the critical needs of the people in the communities.

He was speaking at a meeting organised for the Community Journalists by the E4L Programme in Tamale to learn about their experiences and how they would continue to work as volunteers under the next phase of the programme.

The E4L Programme is being implemented by Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), and Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL) with technical support and funding from Ghana Venskab (GV) in Denmark and DANIDA.

The overall goal of the programme is to strengthen community groups and organizations to facilitate social, political and economic development processes and ensure that the rights of people are upheld.

Under the programme, 29 young persons from deprived communities in the region were trained as community journalists and attached to radio stations where they filed stories and hosted weekly radio programmes on the development concerns of their communities to draw the attention of duty-bearers to address them.

They also used social media to amplify community voices on same concerns while encouraging the communities to take advantage of development opportunities by non-profit organisations and government to better their lot.

The community journalists, drawn from various districts including Kumbungu, Savelugu, Nanton, Mion, Karaga and Saboba, were transitioned into the E4L Programme from the Youth Speak Up project when the funding phase of the latter ended.

Their transition was as result of the remarkable achievements recorded under the Youth Speak project.

Having been on the Youth Speak Up project and E4L Programme for the past four years, the community journalists had had their confidence level improved, gained experience to speak in public as well championed community issues.

Their work had brought changes to their communities in the areas of education, sanitation and community infrastructure.
However, the YEfL and GDCA will be engaging a new set of community journalists for the next phase of the programme from March, next year, hence the meeting with the current crop of community journalists to share their experiences and how to continue to work as volunteers in their communities.

Mr Mohammed said the community journalists have been effective in their work, which is helping to bring relief to deprived communities in the region.

He assured them that the programme would rely on them as mentors and resource persons to coach the new community journalists to be engaged for the next phase of the programme to lead the development process in their communities.

Alhaji Alhassan Seidu Kayaba, Deputy Manager of Zaa FM, a Tamale-based radio station, which was one of the radio stations the community journalists were attached to, expressed the readiness of the media outlet to continue to share opportunities with the community journalists in the area to complement its work to promote development.

Miss Kayil Helen Udanbila, one of the community journalists, said the opportunity has given them the needed exposure and gave the assurance that she would continue to work to shed light on the challenges and opportunities in her community.

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